Sounders eliminated from US Open Cup with 4-2 loss to Galaxy

Jul 20, 2016, 10:49 PM | Updated: Jul 21, 2016, 8:18 am

Hot on the heels of their loss in Portland, the Sounders headed to Los Angeles hoping to get their season back on track by progressing in the U.S. Open Cup. They fielded a weakened lineup, with only a couple starting-quality players included. The Galaxy also played a number of backups and young players, but their starting XI was significantly stronger than Seattle’s. Nevertheless, the teams were relatively even for much of the match. After Los Angeles introduced its star players, though, the tide quickly turned and the Galaxy went on to win 4-2.

Seattle took an early lead as veteran MLSer Michael Farfan scored his first Sounders goal thanks to a goalkeeping error. Both teams went on the attack often, and Tyler Miller was forced to gather a number of dangerous crosses into the Sounders’ box. But it only took until the 17th minute for Los Angeles to equalize, after Seattle’s defense failed to mark Alan Gordon in the box when Baggio Husidic’s pass (or was it a shot?) went straight to the forward’s foot and into Seattle’s net.

The Galaxy had the lion’s share of possession (59 percent) and chances for the rest of the half, but both teams went into the break with just one goal apiece.

The deadlock wasn’t broken until the 58th minute, when Herculez Gomez latched onto a deep cross near the goal and smashed it past Clement Diop to make it 2-1. Not long after that, Sounders teammates Aaron Kovar and Oniel Fisher had a nasty collision that left Fisher in a daze, while Kovar had to be carted off the pitch and replaced by Cristian Roldan.

The tide didn’t really turn, though, until the Galaxy brought on star players Giovani Dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes in the 74th. It didn’t help things when, in the 77th minute, Zach Scott’s wayward pass went straight to Do Santos, who easily beat Miller one-on-one and put the ball in the net.

With the match tied up 2-2, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid brought on his only star player on the bench, Jordan Morris. It was too little too late for the Sounders’ tired reserves, as Sebastian Lletget fired in Los Angeles’ third score in the 85th minute after being completely unmarked by a defender right in front of the goal.

Minutes later, Seattle’s defense failed yet again to deal with the Galaxy’s invigorated attack as Zardes and Lletget danced their way into the box with little to no resistance. Lletget found himself with another easy goal to complete his three-minute brace.

The Sounders huffed and puffed, but they couldn’t come back from the deficit in the dying minutes of the match.

Man of the match: Zach Mathers, who was loaned from S2 for this match, looked quite solid despite the result.

Turning point: The Galaxy’s second equalizer was too much for the Sounders, and it opened the floodgates for Los Angeles’ eventual win.

One reason to worry: Another match, another loss for Seattle. There’s everything to worry about at this point.

One reason to relax: The Sounders won’t have the distraction of the Open Cup for the rest of the season, and they can concentrate on digging themselves out of the pit that is the 2016 MLS season.

Spenser Davis also covers the Sounders for Sounder at Heart.

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