Galaxy beat Sounders 1-0 in playoff opener

  • Mark Nelson Herald Writer
  • Sunday, October 31, 2010 7:35pm
  • SportsSports

SEATTLE — Advantage Los Angeles.

The L.A. Galaxy walked off Qwest Field on Sunday night with a 1-0 win and a one-goal edge over Seattle Sounders FC in their Major League Soccer Western Conference semifinal series thanks to a stunning first-half goal by forward Edson Buddle.

Seattle struggled to accurately lift passes over a tightened midfield and Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made eight saves as L.A. grabbed a lead in the two-game, aggregate-goal series.

The second leg of the series is Sunday at the Home Depot Center in Carson City, Calif.

Buddle, a U.S. international forward, quieted the home crowd of 35,521 with an ambitious volley from 30 yards out that beat Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller to the far post.

Buddle, whose 17 regular season goals ranked him second in the league, collected a headed pass from defender Omar Gonzalez and shielded Seattle defender Patrick Ianni off the ball before turning and lofting a right-footed shot that caught Keller a bit off guard and dropped just inside the far post in the 38th minute.

“It’s just one of those things that guys try 100 times in their career and never make it happen,” Keller said. “Great goals change games and that’s part of it, but I thought our response in the second half was good. We created chances, we had more than enough opportunities to win the game.”

Seattle, which is scoreless in three MLS playoff matches, peppered Ricketts with eight shots on goal, but couldn’t break through the athletic 6-foot-4 goalkeeper.

Ricketts turned away a point-blank header from Fredy Montero in the 24th minute and denied Nathan Sturgis on a direct free kick in the 42nd minute.

“Donovan (Ricketts) came up with a couple big saves in the first half,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said. “In the second half, I think we squandered some chances. If we finish better, if Donovan doesn’t have the game he had we maybe walk off this field winners.”

Seattle appeared to jump out to an astounding lead in the opening minute, but midfielder Steve Zakuani’s rebound of an Osvaldo Alonso shot was called back because the forward was offside, quickly turning the wild cheers into a chorus of boos.

“All you can do is try and create chances,” Schmid said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed in our inability to finish. A couple of them were great saves, but there were some that we should have finished.”

Seattle, which finished the season’s second half with a league-best 10-2-3 record, outshot L.A. 15-10, but Galaxy outside defenders Eddie Lewis and Sean Franklin kept dangerous wings Zakuani and Sanna Nyassi in check for the majority of the game.

Lewis, a 36-year-old former U.S. international, bottled up the speedy Nyassi, not allowing the Gambian an opportunity to get behind the Galaxy defense.

“I just think as a team we didn’t really play how we’ve been playing,” Zakuani said. “They scored an unbelievable goal and you can’t do nothing about that.”

L.A., which earned the MLS Supporters’ Shield with the league’s best regular season record, is in the driver’s seat as the series shifts to southern California next Sunday, but a one-goal lead isn’t very comforting for a team that twice defeated Seattle by bloated margins in the regular season.

The Galaxy beat Seattle 4-0 on May 8, prompting Sounders FC ownership to offer season-ticket holders a one-game credit for next season; Seattle dropped a 3-1 decision in L.A. on July 4.

“There’s everything to play for in the next game,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said.

Seattle dodged a bullet in the 85th minute as a shot from Galaxy midfielder Juninho skidded inches wide of the far post, preserving the one-goal margin of victory.

Two minutes later Sounders substitute Nate Jaqua found space in the box, but fired a low shot directly at Ricketts.

Ousted from the playoffs after a second-leg, overtime goal in Houston a year ago, Sounders FC has a final shot to keep its season afloat.

“It’s a long way from being over,” Keller said.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Six teams in Wesco finished with at least 10 wins in the abbreviated 2021 high school softball season. (Herald file)
Prep softball recap: Plenty of memories made

A look back at the highlights and top teams from the five-week high school softball season.

Jackson's Ryan Contreras is welcomed by teammate Dominic Hellman after Contreras' home run Friday afternoon at Funko Field at Memorial Stadium in Everett on April 23, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Prep baseball recap: 2020 season was short, but sweet

A look back at the highlights and top teams from the five-week high school baseball season.

Winter prep sports roundup.
Prep results for Thursday, May 13

Prep results for Thursday, May 13: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Mariners' Jarred Kelenic watches his foul ball in his first major league at-bat, in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Seattle. Kelenic flied out on the at-bat. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Kelenic, Gilbert debut, Mariners fall to Indians

The anticipated debuts are overshadowed as Cleveland’s Zach Plesac takes a no-hitter into the eighth.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
J-Rod homers again, AquaSox pound Dust Devils

Everett hits three home runs and beats Tri-City 15-1 for its fifth straight win.

The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Month.
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Month for April

Below are the candidates for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Month… Continue reading

The Herald’s Athlete of the Week poll.
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 3-9

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 3-9. Voting closes at… Continue reading

AquaSox outfielder Julio Rodriguez hits a double during the first inning of a game against the Dust Devils on May 11, 2021, at Funko Field in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Van Til: Eyes of baseball world on talent-laden AquaSox

Local fans will have a rare, and perhaps short, opportunity to view these potential future M’s stars.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) celebrates after a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers with quarterback Geno Smith and linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, left, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Seahawks set for 5 more primetime games in 2021-22

Seattle return to the spotlight as the new 17-game NFL schedule is released.

Most Read