SEATTLE, WASH. – A first-half strike from Robbie Keane was the difference for the visiting LA Galaxy (7-3-8, 29 points) as Seattle Sounders FC (5-10-2, 17 points) fell 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in front of 40,813 fans on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Despite out-shooting the Galaxy 22-7, Seattle failed to find the net as it dropped the first of three matches against LA across all competitions during the month of July. The two sides meet again in the Quarterfinal Round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, July 20 before returning to Seattle on Sunday, July 31 for a full-stadium MLS regular-season matchup at CenturyLink Field.
Fresh off of international duty with the Republic of Ireland, Keane flashed his signature poise inside the 18-yard-box with a cool finish in the 15th minute after receiving a cross from Gyasi Zardes. For his part, Zardes beat Seattle’s backline by turning defender Zach Scott just outside of Sounders FC’s area after running onto a Dave Romney through-ball. Keane’s strike marked his seventh career goal against Sounders FC. The Irishman’s total is the second-most of any Sounders FC opponent in MLS regular-season play, trailing Chris Wondolowski’s nine career tallies against the Rave Green.
Seattle registered a season-high 22 shots, but directed only five on-goal as the club went scoreless for the third time in its last four MLS fixtures. Clint Dempsey led the way with seven shots, including a near-miss in the 82nd minute that hit the post after Jordan Morris settled a deep cross to Dempsey’s feet inside the six-yard-box. Morris nearly scored 30 minutes prior when he collected an over-the-top through-ball from Tyrone Mears and retained possession after a collision with Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe before having his attempt cleared off the line by defender A.J. DeLaGarza.
Sounders FC returns to action on Wednesday to face FC Dallas on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field (7:30 p.m. PT / Q13 FOX, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM) before hitting the road for the first matchup of the season against the Portland Timbers onSunday, July 17. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. PT at Providence Park in the lone match of the season to air nationally on free-to-air FOX Broadcast Network.
Seattle Sounders FC 0 – LA Galaxy 1
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistants: Jeremy Hanson, Eduardo Mariscal
Fourth Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Weather: Cloudy and 67 degrees
LA – Robbie Keane (Gyasi Zardes, Dave Romney) 15′
LA – Dave Romney (caution) 69′
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott – captain, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan (Herculez Gomez 83′), Erik Friberg; Jordan Morris, Clint Dempsey, Nelson Valdez (Oalex Anderson 64′)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Tony Alfaro, Oniel Fisher, Aaron Kovar, Andreas Ivanschitz
Total shots: 22 (Dempsey, 7)
Shots on goal: 5 (Five players, 1)
Fouls: 12 (Valdez, 4)
Corner-kicks: 9 (Friberg, 6)
Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)
LA Galaxy – Brian Rowe; A.J. DeLaGarza, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, Dave Romney; Baggio Husidic, Jeff Larentowicz, Steven Gerrard (Mike Magee 85′), Gyasi Zardes; Robbie Keane – captain (Alan Gordon 90+2′), Giovani dos Santos (Sebastian Lletget 76′)
Substitutes not used: Dan Kennedy, Leonardo, Rafael Garcia, Emmanuel Boateng
Total shots: 7 (Keane, 3)
Shots on goal: 4 (Keane, 3)
Fouls: 13 (Van Damme, 4)
Offside: 1 (Keane, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Gerrard, 4)
Saves: 4 (Rowe, 4)
Saturday’s result ends Sounders FC’s three-match unbeaten run across all competitions, including Tuesday’s 3-0 international friendly win over West Ham United. The Rave Green remain last in the Western Conference with 17 points (5-10-2) in the MLS regular season.
Seattle and LA have now met 19 times in MLS regular season action, with the Galaxy holding a 9-4-6 advantage. The two sides have also met on seven different instances in the MLS Cup Playoffs, with LA edging Seattle 4-3-0 in the postseason. The 26 combined meetings between the two sides in regular and postseason action is the most for a Sounders FC opponent since the team joined MLS in 2009.
Galaxy forward Robbie Keane’s 15th-minute strike marked his seventh career goal against Sounders FC. Keane’s total is the second-most of any Sounders FC opponent in MLS regular-season play, trailing Chris Wondolowski’s nine career tallies against the Rave Green. The Irish international also has two goals against Seattle in postseason action.
Sounders FC forwards Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez made their respective returns to Sigi Schmid’s starting XI. Dempsey appeared in Rave Green for the first time since rejoining the club from Copa America Centenario, with this last start coming onMay 21 vs. Colorado. Valdez returned to the starting lineup for the first time since April 2 vs. Montreal, but the Paraguayan international has made six substitute appearances since that match.
Seattle is set to face LA twice more this month across all competitions. The two sides meet in the Quarterfinals of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, July 20 in Southern California before returning to Seattle on Sunday, July 31 for the second full-stadium match of the season at CenturyLink Field. The third and final MLS regular season meeting is set to take place on Sunday, September 25 at the StubHub Center.
Saturday’s matchup featured the two all-time winningest coaches in MLS history. Seattle’s Sigi Schmid ranks first with a career record of 227-163-113, while LA’s Bruce Arena ranks second with a 197-118-81 mark.