Sounders’ attack falls short as they lose to Galaxy 1-0

Jul 9, 2016, 2:37 PM | Updated: Jul 10, 2016, 9:45 am

Despite knocking at the door for nearly the entire second half, the Sounders slumped to a 1-0 home loss against their fierce rivals, the LA Galaxy, at CenturyLink Field on Saturday.

The Sounders headed into the home match with one of the most attack-strong lineups they’ve had all season. All of their star forwards started against LA, so expectations were quite high – even if they are way lower for Nelson Valdez than they usually are. The attacking lineup helped, though the Sounders’ best offense came after Valdez came off in the second half.

Both teams started spritely, with the Galaxy nearly taking advantage of a poor clearance in the first minute, but Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei did well to gather the ball from the Galaxy’s Robbie Keane. The Sounders dominated the next 15 or so minutes, getting into the final third often though not really threatening goal too much.

It all broke down afterwards, as a counterattack by LA caught Joevin Jones and Zach Scott too far upfield and Scott was beat by Gyasi Zardes near the box. The Galaxy winger was able to beat another tackle from Marshall and slip the ball to Keane, who was mostly unmarked coming into the box and fired it into the back of the net to put the visiting side up 1-0.

Dominance shifted throughout the rest of the half as both teams made silly mistakes on both sides of the ball, but neither side was able to capitalize. Both teams will rue missed chances as the lone goal carried them into halftime.

The second half saw no changes for either team, though the Sounders seemed to drop Dempsey back a little bit to help out in midfield. Jordan Morris was positioned more centrally, and it nearly paid off when he was through on goal a few minutes after the break. Morris managed to wiggle the ball past the squirming Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe, but just as he put his shot on goal, LA defender A.J. DeLaGarza managed to get in front of it and clear it off the line. It was the best chance the Sounders had all match, and they were quite unlucky not to score.

Valdez came off around the 60th minute with what looked like a mild injury, and Oalex Anderson came in for him. Whether it was the tactical changes caused by this switch or Anderson’s actual play, the Sounders were invigorated in attack and created a number of chances after he came onto the pitch. Jones seemed to get a second wind in the half, as the left back fired in a number of excellent crosses for his teammates. Dempsey latched onto one in traffic late in the half, but Rowe managed to tip it over the bar.

The Sounders looked very solid in attack for much of the half, but it just would not go in for them.

Man of the match: I’m not sure if I can give one here. Osvaldo Alonso was solid in midfield as usual, and Dempsey took charge of the attack despite not getting one in the net.

Turning point: The goal, simple as that. Poor defense, poor positioning, it all contributed here.

One reason to worry: Another loss in an already abysmal season for the Sounders. It’s halfway through the season and the Sounders are nearly in last place in the West.

One reason to relax: The transfer window is open, and the Sounders are expected to sign at least one player in the coming weeks. They’ll need it.

Spenser Davis also covers the Sounders for Sounder at Heart.

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