[caption id="attachment_50630" align="alignright" width="200"] Fan giveaway at StubHub Center today.[/caption]The Seattle Sounders put 10 shots on goal today against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo saved every one of them.
That allowed a first-half header by Alan Gordon to stand up as the difference as LA took a 1-0 win before a sellout crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Five of Seattle’s shots on goal were put there by Lamar Neagle, who moved from midfield to forward with the pregame announcement that Clint Dempsey had been left home due to a hamstring injury. However, thanks to Penedo, that also represented a club record for shots on goal without scoring.
Seattle’s chances began in the ninth minute, when Neagle lined a header just over the crossbar. The last came in the 87th minute when Aaron Kovar fired from the middle of the penalty area, and Penedo smothered it for his 10th and final save.Those 10 saves were the most in Penedo’s MLS career and one short of the Los Angeles record.
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The only shot that crossed the goal line followed a free kick in the 23rd minute. Juninho sent the ball into the area, where Omar Gonzalez outjumped center back Brad Evans and headed the ball on to Gordon, who had beaten Andy Rose to the far post.
The Sounders fell to 2-1-2, including two shutouts. They are still looking for their first goal from anyone other than Dempsey (three) and Obafemi Martins (three).
Club officials indicated that Dempsey’s hamstring issue is not serious and they believe he could return Saturday when the Sounders visit Colorado.
Final: Los Angeles wins, 1-0. Sounders fall to 2-1-2. Still no one but Martins and Dempsey have scored.
Sounders visit Colorado on Saturday.
Attendance: 27,000. A sellout.
Second half: ... has begun. No changes.
USA roster: Brad Evans has been named to the USA team that will face Mexico on Wednesday. So are DeAndre Yedlin and Jordan Morris. Hamstring injury apparently keeps Clint Dempsey off.
Halftime: LA 1, Sounders 0. Sounders had better chances, but we're four and a half games into the season and still no Seattle goals from anyone but Oba or Dempsey. And there's no Dempsey today.
30' First 30 minutes a reminder of the difference between having chances and finishing chances. Plenty of blame to go around on LA goal.
23' GOAL Galaxy. Alan Gordon finishes set piece with header from close range. LA, 1-0.
First 15: Lots of Sounders chances recently, especially a couple by Neagle. But 0-0.
First kick: ... has been struck. We're under way. Sounders in rave/rave; LA in white/white.
Lineup: For Sounders: Frei; Mears, Evans, Marshall, Remick; Roldan, Rose, Alonso, Pappa; Neagle, Martins. Reserves: Perkins, Scott, Gonzalez, Azira, Kovar, Barrett, Mansaray.
The club says that Clint Dempsey was left back in Seattle due to a hamstring issue. They do not believe it will be a long-term problem, and he could be back for Colorado next weekend.
For LA: Penedo; Gargan, Gonzalez, DLG, Rogers; Ishizaki, Garcia, Husidic, Juninho, Zardes; Gordon. Reserves: Rowe, Dunivant, Meyer, Jamieson, Maganto, Vayrynen, Villarreal. Robbie Keane also missing due to injury.
Pregame: Sounders-Galaxy is always special -- the two winningest teams in MLS since Seattle entered the league. They will kick off this season's series at 4 p.m. today on Fox Sports 1. We'll also have this blog open before, during and after the match, with additional updates and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt. The game also can be heard on 97.3 FM.
Here's our preview story from today's News Tribune.