Sounders Insider

Sounders-LA end in scoreless draw

Sounders FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy kept their long unbeaten streaks alive tonight, as the clubs played to a scoreless draw before a crowd of 27,000 at Home Depot Center.

The Galaxy extended its unbeaten string to 11 games; the Sounders stretched theirs to seven.

The best scoring opportunity came in the 18th minute when Los Angeles defender Omar Gonzalez was called for a handball in the Galaxy penalty area.

Fredy Montero stepped up to take the penalty kick for Seattle. However, his weak, low shot was handled by Los Angeles goalkeeper Brian Perk – his first career save in his first MLS appearance.

The Sounders had another solid chance just a couple of minutes later, when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado sent a header just wide of the post after a corner kick.

Montero was making his first start in three games for the Sounders. He played 61 minutes before being replaced by Brad Evans.

Perk was rushed into duty after No. 1 L.A. keeper Donovan Ricketts underwent arm surgery and top reserve Josh Saunders was serving a red-card suspension.

Perk was credited with two saves, same as Seattle’s Kasey Keller.

Los Angeles’ best chances came from Landon Donovan in the 50th minute and Juan Pablo Angel in the 68th minute.

Donovan’s try was a poorly struck header that Keller handled easily.

However, Angel’s shot was well hit and seemed headed for the inside of the far post, except for a slight touch by the diving Keller that sent it just wide.

David Beckham came on in the 69th minute, his first appearance in three league matches due to a back injury.

The result keeps Los Angeles (9-2-9) at the top of the table in MLS with 36 points. Seattle (8-4-8) remains four points behind the Galaxy and two behind FC Dallas in the Supporters Shield race.

Seattle ended a five-game losing streak to the Galaxy. However, Los Angeles leads the all-time MLS series 5-1-2.

The Sounders return to league play 1 p.m. Sunday at Portland.

Then they will face the Galaxy again July 13 in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.

Stats:

L.A. Galaxy - Brian Perk, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez (Bryan Jordan 80), A.J. DeLaGarza (Gregg Berhalter 24), Todd Dunivant, Landon Donovan, Mike Magee (David Beckham 69), Chris Birchall, Juninho, Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Barrett Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Guppy, Paolo Cardozo, Jordan Kirovski, Miguel Lopez TOTAL SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 2.

Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl, Mauro Rosales (Lamar Neagle 90+), Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 71), Fredy Montero (Brad Evans 61), Roger Levesque Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Patrick Ianni, Zach Scott, Lamar Neagle, Nate Jaqua TOTAL SHOTS: 14; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2.

Misconduct Summary:SEA - Erik Friberg (caution, Reckless Foul) 56

L.A. - Landon Donovan (caution, Reckless Foul) 90+Referee: Ricardo SalazarReferee's Assistants: Peter Manikowski; Colin Arblaster4th Official: Alejandro MariscalAttendance: 27,000

I'll add quotes soon, probably in a new post above.

68th minute: Great Keller save on terrific strike by Angel.

Beckham in.

61st minute: Brad Evans in for Fredy Montero, who didn't do much tonight except miss a penalty kick.

Evans to midfield, Rosales moves forward.

55th minute: First 10 minutes of the half turn to Los Angeles.

Yellow to Friberg for dumping Donovan.

Second half: Has begun. No lineup changes.

Halftime: Nil-nil. Seattle controlled the half, but other than the PK and a Hurtado header, not much really dangerous from either side.

24th minute: Delagarza out with apparent head injury. (He had gotten a Montero boot to he head several minutes earlier.) Berhalter in for LA.

18th minute: LA handball in the box. Penalty kick awarded. Montero takes it, sending a weak shot low and left, and Perk knocks it away.

Kickoff: We're under way. Both teams wearing their alternate kits tonight: Sounders in electricity, LA in dark blue.

Do they realize the Open Cup game isn't until next week?

Lineup: Fredy Montero returns to the first 11. Sounders going with Keller; Riley, Park, Hurtado, Wahl; Rosales, Alonso, Friberg, Fernandez; Levesque, Montero.

Pregame: Sounders and Galaxy kick off at 7:45 at Home Depot Center. The game will be shown on ESPN2.

We'll keep this post open for updates and comments. If the Sounders win, they move to within one point of the top of the Supporters Shield race. Maybe just as importantly, they can gain some confidence against a team that has dominated them recently. And they may never get a better chance, with the Galaxy starting a fully unproven keeper in his first MLS start and with David Beckham on the bench.

The Sounders also get a small break in the Supporters Shield race as Real Salt Lake manages only a draw at home against New England ... although, granted, playing a man down much of the way.

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