The Los Angeles Galaxy is heading to MLS Cup and the Seattle Sounders are heading home.The difference came down to a Galaxy shot that hit the near goalpost in the 54th minute that bounced in rather than out.That Juninho goal was the only one Los Angeles got Sunday in a 2-1 loss to the Sounders at CenturyLink Field. But it was all they needed, as it evened the two-game series at 2-2 on aggregate score, and it put the Galaxy through as the only road goal of the series.Los Angeles controlled the early minutes, through neither team had serious chances.That changed in the the 26th minute, when Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey worked a give and go which ended with the ball at Dempsey’s foot inside the area. Dempsey sent the ball across the goal mouth where it was deflected by Galaxy defender Dan Gargan. However, the ball continued across to Brad Evans who swept it into the open net.Seattle kept swarming from there with Dempsey, Martins and Lamar Neagle all getting dangerous chances.
The next one went in in the 32nd minute, Dempsey hitting a low hard shot that goalkeeper Jaime Penedo got a piece of but couldn’t keep out of the goal.
The temperature was 34 degrees at kickoff, making this the coldest Sounders’ home game over their six MLS seasons.
The Sounders went into the game at something very close to full strength as midfielders Osvaldo Alonso (hamstring) and Lamar Neagle (personal issues) moved back into the starting 11 after missing the first leg.
The game was played before a Seattle playoff record crowd of 46,758.
I'll be back with notes and quotes.
54' LA goal off the post. It's 2-2 on aggregate, but Galaxy leads on away goal.
Second half: ... is under way. No changes for either side.
Halftime: Sounders 2-0 tonight and 2-1 on aggregate. However, with road goals valued, an LA goal would slip them back into the driver's seat.
Stats: Goals 2-0 SEA; shots 7-6 SEA; on target 3-2 SEA; corners 3-2 SEA: fouls 6-2 LA: possession 51.2 SEA.
32' GOAL Sounders. Dempsey low shot continues in after Penedo gets hand on it.. Seattle up 2-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate.
Evans goal ended 241 minute scoreless streak for Sounders and was first conceded by LA in playoffs. Next one came six minutes later.
26' GOAL Sounders. Brad Evans cleans up into open net. 1-0 tonight and 1-1 on aggregate.
First 15 minutes: Scoreless. No real chances. But the ball has been in front of Seattle goal more than LA's.
First kick: Has been stuck. We're under way. Sounders in rave/blue; Galaxy in their alternate black kits.
Lineups: Sounders: Frei; Yedlin, Marshall, Scott, Gonzalez; Evans, Alonso, Pineda, Neagle; Dempsey, Martins. Reserves: Hahnemann, Traore, Rose, Azira, Pappa, Barrett, Cooper.
Galaxy starters: Penedo; Gargan, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Rogers; Ishizaki, Sarvas, Juninho, Donovan; Keane, Zardes. Reserves: Rowe, Dunivant, Villarreal, Husidic, Gordon, Meyer, Walker.
Pregame: It' is cold -- apparently Sounders-record cold -- a couple of hours before Sounders-Galaxy first kick. The pitch is clear, although there are still patches of ice and snow behind the south-end goal.
We're told the ESPN broadcast will begin at 6:20, with first kick set for 6:30. We'll keep this blog going before, during and after the game, with additional updates and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.
At stake, of course, is the Western Conference championship and a spot in MLS Cup next weekend. The Sounders are a goal down in the aggregate-score series, and the road-goals tie-breaker increases the degree of difficulty.