This time the Sounders won’t have to worry about all those nagging little it-might-have-beens, as they did last season.
Unlike their 1-goal-in-extra time loss at Houston that ended last season, this season the Sounders just got eliminated by what all evidence points to as the better team.
Los Angeles won the game, 2-1, won the series 3-1, and won the season series 4-0 and by a combined 10-2.
And very soon it sets up the question of how the Sounders respond over the off-season with the road to the top of the West clearly running through Los Angeles.
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LA - Edson Buddle (David Beckham) 19
LA - Omar Gonzalez (David Beckham) 27
SEA - Steve Zakuani (Nate Jaqua) 86
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Eddie Lewis, David Beckham, Juninho, Dema Kovalenko (Chris Birchall 74), Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle (Tristan Bowen 71), Mike Magee (Todd Dunivant 79).
Substitutes Not Used: Jovan Kirovski, Gregg Berhalter, Alex Cazumba, Josh Saunders.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3.
Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni (Nate Jaqua 77), Tyrone Marshall, Leo Gonzalez, Sanna Nyassi (Alvaro Fernandez 46), Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis (Mike Fucito 64), Steve Zakuani, Blaise Nkufo, Fredy Montero.
Substitutes Not Used: Tyson Wahl, Roger Levesque, Taylor Graham, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2.
LA - David Beckham (caution; Reckless Tackle) 8
SEA - Patrick Ianni (caution; Tactical Foul) 65
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: C.J. Morgante; Craig Lowry
4th Official: Kevin Stott
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Cloudy and 66 degrees
Attendance: 27,000... and it's been a good lively crowd, helped along by very notable, very enthusiastic, very loud Sounders supporters. (Postgame, the Sounders made a point to walk over to the Supporters corner -- the corner opposite their locker room -- to give those fans their due.)
Sounders score: Sounders get on the board in the 86th minute, as Steve Zakuani puts a 10-yard shot in. Ricketts got a hand on it, but that just defected it to the top-near corner.
The goal ends Seattle's scoreless postseason run as 385 minutes.
Final minutes: Getting rough, perhaps fueled by Sounders frustration.
65th minute: Yellow card to Ianni for grab and hold on Buddle.
64th minute: Fucito in for Sturgis.
62nd minute: Tyrone Marshall very unhappy after apparently taking an elbow from Buddle.
Meanwhile, Mike Fucito looks like he'll be the next sub in.
50thi minute: MLS keeper of the year Donovan Ricketts was down a while and has apparently had an ankle taped after a collision with Alvaro Fernandez. For now, at least, he is staying in the game.
Second half: ... has begun. Fernandez in for Nyassi.
Halftime stats show LA outshot Seattle 5-3 and put four on goal to Seattle's two.
Halftime: Sigi Schmid seemed understandably steamed as he and his club headed to the locker room.
And it's sure looking like we're down to the final 45 minutes of the Sounders second season, as LA takes a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
This means, of course, that Seattle must use the next 45 minutes to outscore by at least three goals a team that until now has outscored them 10-1 over three and a half MLS games.
I'll be back with stats.
43rd minute: Alvaro Fernandez has been warming up, and he just huddled a bit with Sigi Schmid. I don't expect Nyassi's night to linger beyond the half.
LA goes up 2-0: Sanna Nyassi dumped Landon Donovan, which led to another LA set piece. This time Beckham put it on the head of Omar Gonzalez, and the Galaxy are up 2-0 ... meaning 3-0.
LA goes up 1-0: Edson Buddle just pushed LA ahead 1-0 -- meaning 2-0 -- heading in a corner from David Beckham in the 19th minute.
This opening segment could hardly be more encouraging for LA. Their defensive-mindedness is keeping the Sounders safely at bay, while their counterattacks have been regularly threatening.
There is really nothing to say for the Sounders so far except "Gulp."
Marshall miscommunication: Tyrone Marshall just gave up a corner on a ball that Kasey Keller clearly wanted to come out and get. Marshall motioned that he didn't hear Keller because of the crowd, and that's fully believable. It looks very close to a sellout, and the play happened directly in front of the LA supporters groups, who are into it tonight.
Yellow card to Beckham: Yellow card to Beckham, who has come out aggressively with two slide tackles in the early going. However, the last one ended with a stomp on Montero and drew the booking, which was booed here.
First 5 minutes: Sounders having trouble getting the ball to the attacking end. Then LA's first real push forward provided the first couple of chances of the game, a Donovan cross to Buddle in the box and then a corner kick morphing into a header and Keller's first save of the game.
Kickoff: The last game of somebody's season has begun.
Sounders in rave green/green; Galaxy in white/white.
Lineups: No real surprises in Sounders lineup tonight. Defender Jeff Parke not only isn't starting, but he isn't on the roster.
Lineups: For Seattle: GK Keller, D Riley, Marshall, Ianni, Gonzalez; M Nyassi, Alonso, Sturgis, Zakuani; F Montero, Nkufo. Reserves: Boss, Graham, Wahl, Fernandez, Fucito, Jaqua, Levesque.
For LA: GK Ricketts, D Franklin, DeLaGarza, Lewis; M Beckham, Juninho, Kovalenko, Donovan; F Buddle, Magee. Reserves: Saunders, Berhalter, Cazumba, Dunivant, Birchall, Bowen, Kirovski.
Rave green in the Golden State: Sounders fans are in the house, making their entrance unmistakably and dawing the notice -- as well as several fingers -- of the Angle City Brigade supports group, just a couple of sections over.
The Sounders fans are spilling over into about a section and a half at what will be the lower left corner of your TV view. They're chanting and singing, and doing great as always. And they just got an appreciative wave from Terry Boss -- the first Sounder on the pitch for warm ups.
Pregame: The gates have opened at Home Depot Center in advance of the 6 p.m. kickoff that will extend one team's season and end the other's. LA, of course, begins with a one-goal advantage in the aggregate-score series.
We'll keep this blog post open all evening for pregame, in-game and postgame reports and your comments.