By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
SEATTLE — Coming into this season, the Los Angeles Galaxy had Sounders FC’s number, which showed up in a 3-1-2 advantage in their MLS series.
Today, that series stands at 3-3-2. The Sounders evened it Sunday with a 4-0 blasting of the Galaxy before a crowd of 60,908 at CenturyLink Field and an ESPN2 national television audience.
“It was the perfect storm,” Galaxy forward Landon Donovan said. “We started the game poorly defending, all night we didn’t attack well, the officiating was awful. It just seemed like everything went against us and we didn’t play well.”
It was the Sounders’ second win over L.A. in as many tries this season, and over those two games they have outscored their southern California rival by a combined 6-0.
“They had been our boogie team for a while and seemed to get the better of us over the last two years prior to this time,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “And that was something we talked about, that we felt we could turn around. … It was important because it was a big game, it was national TV, huge crowd — that was great, what an atmosphere.”
The win moved Seattle to 10-5-7 on the season — and those 37 points are good for third place in the West and seven points shy of Supporters Shield-leading San Jose, which Seattle will visit on Saturday.
Los Angeles dropped to 10-11-3 and 33 points.
“It’s a statement for ourselves: ‘Hey, here’s what we can do, here’s the commitment that we have, this is the potential that we can achieve, and this is what we can do as we continue to move forward,’” Schmid said. “… It’s about ourselves getting confidence in our ability to take on big challenges, big games.”
Along the way:
n The Sounders picked up goals from places expected and unexpected: Eddie Johnson scored his club-high 10th goal of the season, and Fredy Montero scored his sixth, while Alex Caskey and Andy Rose each scored their first MLS goals.
n Seattle extended its unbeaten streak to six games while ending the Galaxy’s unbeaten run at five.
n Los Angeles was held scoreless for the first time in 13 games, dating to May 19.
n New DP (designated player) Christian Tiffert made his MLS debut, coming on in the 64th minute.
n The huge crowd represented the Sounders’ second-best attendance for an MLS game and raised their league-leading average to 41,479.
“It makes every game here at CenturyLink Field into a festival,” Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning said.
The celebration started in the sixth minute Sunday, when Johnson ran onto a cross from Mauro Rosales and headed in from about 7 yards.
“It seems easy, but the hard part is redirecting it and trying to put it in a good spot to make it difficult for the keeper to save it,” Johnson said. “(Rosales) put enough zip on it; and me, I was just trying to redirect it into the corner.”
The Sounders scored three more goals in the second half: a Montero turning volley inside the near post, a 30-yard chip by Caskey when L.A. keeper Josh Saunders was trapped off his line, and Rose’s finish of a cross into the box from Marc Burch.
“Obviously, the scoreline was great,” Schmid said. “We were happy about that: being able to build on a one-goal lead and add three in the second half. … They’re the kind of team that’s very good offensively; but sometimes there are some connections in the back that we can take advantage of. Very happy with our character, what we displayed in the second half, and overall just pleased with the performance.”
The Sounders travel today to Kansas City, where they will meet Sporting KC in the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday. They return to MLS play Saturday at San Jose.