SEATTLE — Landon Donovan pushed himself early in the season so he was ready for the international stage. When he was left off the United States’ roster for the World Cup, there was an understandable letdown in Donovan’s performance for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“I really pushed myself to be playing well in April and May this year and I was, and I just dropped off a little bit and it’s important for me to get back to that,” Donovan said. “Again, this is only one night. It’s got to continue and that’s what’s expected of me and that’s what I expect of myself.”
Donovan started finding that form again on Monday night, assisting on two goals and scoring one in Los Angeles’ impressive 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders.
Donovan assisted on Gyasi Zardes’ goal in the eighth minute, scored off a rebound 10 minutes later and picked up a second assist on Stefan Ishizaki’s goal in the 36th minute as the Galaxy won for the fourth time in six matches and just as they’re getting their roster together again.
Monday was the first time Omar Gonzalez played for the Galaxy since May 3 and Robbie Rogers returned after missing the last two games.
“We’re just beginning to get our team on the field,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “We’ve gone through a half a season of misery dealing with the injuries and absences. Hopefully we can get a little more of a solidified unit.”
The Western Conference-leading Sounders suffered one of their worst home MLS losses in franchise history. Seattle lost 4-1 last season at home to Vancouver. The worst home defeat was 4-0 to Los Angeles in 2010 that prompted Sounders management to offer refunds to fans.
Seattle had won four of its previous five MLS matches and had a six-game home win streak, but was playing a league game for the first time in more than two weeks. The Sounders were also without MLS All-Star central defender Chad Marshall, who was in a minor auto accident over the weekend and was suffering from back spasms.
“It was just one of those days at the office. Better to forget about and move on,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said.
The absence of Marshall was obvious and Seattle’s defense was disorganized and susceptible to Donovan and the Galaxy’s attack.
Donovan beat the replacement duo of Zach Scott and Jalil Anibaba and left the ball for Zardes to tap in his seventh goal for an early lead. Donovan was then in the right spot to clean up the rebound off Marcelo Sarvas’ shot in the 18th minute while DeAndre Yedlin was caught watching the ball and lost track of Donovan.
Ishizaki’s goal in the 36th minute drew boos from the sellout crowd and Los Angeles had a number of opportunities to make the final score even more lopsided if not for impressive saves from Frei.
Seattle didn’t get a clear shot on goal until the 59th minute when Clint Dempsey’s curling left-footed shot was pushed wide by Jaime Pedeno. Otherwise, Pedeno had a mostly quiet and calm night defending the Los Angeles goal
Aside from the rare Monday night matchup, the stadium also suffered a power surge in the opening moments knocking out the stadium lights. There was also a tussle at the end of the first half between Yedlin and Gonzalez that Dempsey joined. The three were teammates for the U.S. at the World Cup.
“It’s competitive and our team wasn’t going to back down,” Donovan said.