If coach Sigi Schmid is superstitious, those new kits might sick around a while as the Seattle broke a three-game league winless streak with a 2-0 victory before a crowd of 20,162 at the Home Depot Center.
The result moves the Sounders (8-5-8; 32 points) past L.A. (7-4-10, 31) into second place in the MLS Western Division. Seattle also ended a club-record streak of 335 regular-season minutes without a goal.
"Obviously, we're happy with the win," Schmid said. "The card to Beckham obviously changed the game early on. But I thought even before that we were starting to look like we could break through."
And that was largely the theme of the folks I was able to speak with after the game. Yes, the red card to David Beckham was important. Yes, the limited time for Landon Donovan was important. But the Sounders were without Freddie Ljungberg too (Schmid said he expects a better diagnosis and prognosis once the team returns home.)
But the Sounders also seemed to think they had the better run of play even before Beckham was booted. And really, nothing much matters beyond the cold numbers of the scoreboard and the standings.
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"The red card probably hurt them a little bit more, but it's still a win," Steve Zakuani said. "... I think we were good even from the beginning. If we only had 11-on-11 I think we were passing the ball well. With the 10 it just made a bit more space, and we took advantage. It feels good to get a win."
As for the Beckham card ... unfortunately, the late start meant I couldn't wait around to chat with Becks. But LA coach Bruce Arena made no excuses.
"I can't complain," he said. "He came in pretty hard. I'd have to look at it on the replay, but he came in pretty hard. ... (Overall it was) not a good night tonight. We didn't deserve any more than we got."
The Sounders return to action at 7 p.m. Thursday when New England visits Qwest Field.
SEA -- Steve Zakuani 3 (Brad Evans 2) 22
SEA -- Fredy Montero 10 (Nate Jaqua 7, Peter Vagenas 1) 54
Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Peter Vagenas, Steve Zakuani (Sebastien Le Toux 74), Fredy Montero (Zach Scott 81), Nate Jaqua (Sanna Nyassi 88).
Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Freddie Ljungberg, Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl.
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Nate Jaqua 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (3 tied with 2); FOULS: 12 (Tyrone Marshall 3); OFFSIDES: 7 (Steve Zakuani 4); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Brad Evans 1, Peter Vagenas 1); SAVES: 3 (Kasey Keller 3)
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Chris Klein (Bryan Jordan 58), David Beckham, Stefani Miglioranzi (Landon Donovan 46), Eddie Lewis, Alan Gordon (Mike Magee 61), Jovan Kirovski.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Birchall, Dema Kovalenko, Tony Sanneh, Josh Saunders.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Eddie Lewis 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Eddie Lewis 2); FOULS: 11 (Alan Gordon 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Alan Gordon 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Eddie Lewis 2); SAVES: 5 (Donovan Ricketts 5)
LA -- A.J. DeLaGarza (caution; Tactical Foul) 14
LA -- David Beckham (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 17
SEA -- Tyrone Marshall (caution; Tactical Foul) 65
SEA -- Tyrone Marshall (caution; Reckless Foul) 76
SEA -- Tyrone Marshall (ejection; Second Caution) 76
LA -- Eddie Lewis (ejection; Violent Conduct) 79
SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution; Delaying a Restart) 81
LA -- Jovan Kirovski (caution; Reckless Foul) 94+
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: -C.J. Morgante; Frank Anderson
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez
Time of Game: 1:52
79th minute: Strike that. Now Eddie Lewis has been sent off for flinging James Riley off the pitch.
76th minute: Tyrone Marshall just picked up a second yellow card for dumping Landon Donovan, and Seattle will continue without its man advantage.
55th minute: Jaqua heads a cross down into the keepers box and Fredy Montero sends it into the top of the net. Sounders 2-0.
Second half: Landon Donovan has subbed in for the Galaxy.
Halftime: Sounders, 1-0. SOunders out-shot LA, 6-2, and but two on goal to LA's one. Seattle was whistled for offsides seven times, LA one. Fouls even, 6-6; although the Beckham red card was a game-changer.
22nd minute: The Sounders just got their first league goal after a club-record drought of 335 minutes. Brad Evans got the ball is space down the right side and crossed to Steve Zakuani who finished into the open left side. Sounders, 1-0.
Beckham out: Deavid Beckham is walking off the pitch after a less-than-17-minute performance which ended when he made a spikes-up tackle into former teammate Peter Vagenas.
Kickoff: The Galaxy and, um, some team in blue have begun.
Ljungberg's symptoms: We've just gotten word from a Sounders spokesman that Freddie Ljungberg is out of the starting lineup tonight because he experienced "disorientation and memory loss" yesterday when the team arrived from Seattle. Those are not symptoms that have been mentioned previously in connection with this migraines.
More local color: Rave green-wearing Sounders supporters fill almost a full corner section of the stadium. However, their section is just two sections down from the white-wearing Galaxy supporters section, and the two groups have definitely gotten the other's attention.
(And now the Sounders fans are getting grief from a bunch of kids from some on-field pregame youth-soccer promation.)
Meanwhile, it looks like the Sounders are going full blue tonight: jerseys and pants. Galaxy in all white.
And finally, the stadium PA has just announced the "Kleenex lucky row of the game." ... Some sort of swine-flu-related promotion, I assume.
Starting lineups: For Seattle: GK Keller; D RIley, Ianni, Marshall, Gonzalez; M Evans, Alonso, Vagenas, Zakuani; F Montero, Jaqua.
For LA: GK Ricketts; D DeLaGarza, erkhalter, Gonzalez, Dunivant; M Klein, Beckham, Miglioranzi, Lewis; F Gordon, Kirovski. (Landon Donovan is in uniform, despite the swine flu. Eddie Lewis is serving as captain while he's out.)
Apparently not everyone here is all that happy to see Beckham. As I was walking the concourse, one guy was here with a No. 23 Galaxy jersey in which he taped a red line through the name "Beckham."
And I'm not sure why Ljungberg isn't starting, but we're seeing information.
Local color: I just took a walk around the concourse. There are a lot of folks in Sounders jerseys here ... althought they're wearing the green, while the real team is apparently going to be breaking out the blue tonight.
Also, I noticed that some Galaxy-based charity is having a jersey raffle, and what they're raffling is a jersey autographed by former Galaxy guys Pete Vagenas and Tyrone Marshall.
I also noticed there are a lot of signs making it clear that if you take those seats you're going to surrounded by people standing and chanting the whole way.
I'm liking the soccer vibe at this place.
Pregame: Just arrived at Home Depot Center, but I'll give them this: By far the earliest-arriving crowd I've seen at any MLS venue except maybe Seattle, and also the most tailgating. There is a sense that something fun and exciting is about to play out. That's a great feeling that not all MLS venues have.
However, now that I'm in the stadium, I'm still dubious about that pitch. Every single row of newly-laid grass is obvious. I can't imagine there aren't going to be some bad bounces down there tonight.
Meanwhile: Normal gamenight blogging planned. I'll pop back in with news here as it happens, lineups, in-game updates, and then wrap up with the notes and quotes that almost certainly won't make the paper due to this annoyingly late start. And, of course, we're all eager to hear your thoughts, too.