Aug 18, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; A general overall view of the pitch before the start of a game between the Seattle Sounders FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders gave coach Brian Schmetzer a doozy of a birthday present Saturday, serving up a 5-0 win over the LA Galaxy as they stretched their unbeaten run to nine consecutive matches and a club-record six wins in a row in front of a crowd of 44,213 at CenturyLink Field.
The Galaxy, battered by injuries, left its four highest-paid players at home with Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos and Jonathan dos Santos all injured and Zlatan Ibrahimovic opting not to play on turf. The four, combined with injured defender Michael Ciani, had combined to score 28 of the Galaxy’s 48 goals in 2018.
“We understand the circumstances that are surrounding the Galaxy,” Schmetzer said. “That’s their issue. (LA coach Sigi Schmid) has to solve that. I’m sure he will, he’s a great coach. If you push that aside, how do we feel about our performance and what was going on out on the field? I thought a well-deserved two goals. We’ve talked about this. Our team has started strong the first 20-25 minutes of games recently. We let our foot off the gas a bit and we let them back in. We made a couple of adjustments at halftime. That team did what they were supposed to do, did what they had to do to put the game out of reach. All credit goes to them.”
Seattle (10-9-5) struck first in the 3rd minute, when Chad Marshall met a floating cross from Nicolas Lodeiro from the right alley, heading it to the right post and beating Galaxy ‘keeper David Bingham. The centerback’s goal was his second in the last two matches.
The Sounders added to their lead in the 18th minute, when a failed clearance from defender Ashley Cole fell straight to Gustav Svensson, who played Harry Shipp into space at the top of the box. Shipp fired a low shot with his second touch past a charging Bingham.
The Galaxy (10-9-7) pulled themselves back into the first half, challenging the Sounders with several shots, but could not slot in a goal before halftime.
Five minutes into the second half, Lodeiro chased down a long through ball as LA’s Jorgen Skjelvik lost his footing in the box. Lodeiro’s cross was tapped in by Servando Carrasco for an own goal to give Seattle a 3-0 lead.
Cristian Roldan added the fourth goal nine minutes later. After a series of quick passes got the ball to the end line, Shipp slid a cutback cross to Roldan just above the six-yard box in the middle of several defenders. Roldan scored with the inside of his foot for his third goal of the season.
Raul Ruidiaz notched the final goal in the 67th minute, picking off a Carrasco pass and sprinting into the box before finishing a low shot with his left foot for his second goal of the season and first at CenturyLink Field.
The win was the largest margin of victory the Sounders ever recorded over the Galaxy, edging out a 4-0 win over LA at CenturyLink Field back in 2012. The five-goal win tied Seattle’s largest ever margin of victory in league play, tying a 5-0 win over FC Dallas back in July of 2016.
Schmetzer said that total organization was responsible for the turnaround that has seen the club jump up the Western Conference standings and into a playoff position.
“I’m very proud of the entire organization,” Schmetzer said. “The team in that locker room put the work in. It’s been a fairly consistent group. The whole group of players – and I’m not just talking about the 18-man roster – all 30 guys put it in. (General manager Garth Lagerwey) does a good job, (sporting director Chris Henderson) does a good job. We all have accomplished at this club. For me it’s just another statistic that you guys can discuss. For us it’s another testament to the hard work that everyone does at this organization on a daily basis.”