Saturday, May 8, 2010

SOUNDERS FC: Donovan and Galaxy put on 4-0 clinic for struggling Sounders

Donovan's dominance overpowered the Sounders.
Photo by: Jane Gershovich / NSS

Things didn't start out so bad in the first half for Seattle, who hung in against the undefeated L.A. Galaxy while conceding just one goal. But, unfortunately for Seattle and the 36-some-odd-thousand fans in attendance, there was still another half to play.

That's where things got ugly.

Landon Donovan showed why he is the golden boy of the MLS as he helped obliterate Seattle in the second half with three assists and one goal as the visiting side sent the Sounders off their home pitch with a 4-0 loss, Saturday.

To Continue...

"We got beat," head coach Sigi Schmid said. "We got beat solidly. It's not the kind of game we ever want to repeat again."

Seattle could do nothing to stop the onslaught of crisp passing and perfect crosses, which set up a flurry of goals.

The first goal game in the 22nd minute, when Donovan booted a corner kick, which landed at the feet of reserve forward Jovan Kirovski. He turned and kicked it from the top of the box, catching Kasey Keller uncharacteristically off guard. Keller deflected it slightly but it wasn't enough to stop the ball from bouncing to the back of the net.

"I made a mistake and we went a goal down and we weren't able to recover from that," Keller said. "It's one of the tough things about goalkeeping. I thought we were doing OK. We had a goal that was called offside and it wasn't so that added to the frustration."

The second goal again began at the feet of Donovan during a corner kick in the 53rd minute, who curved it into the head of 6-5 defender Omar Gonzalez, who stood directly in front of Keller. Gonzalez's header flew directly into the top right corner of the cross bar and ricocheted back down to the turf, crossing the goal line along the way.

Guess who set up the third goal? Donovan took his time on a free kick in the 57th minute from about 40 yards out to the left of Keller's net. Donovan bent his free kick deep in the box, where defender Todd Dunivant stood, boxing his man out. Keller stood no chance as Dunivant blasted his shot into the net.

"Two guys let the ball skip past them," Schmid said. "That's inexcusable."

Donovan finally got his chance to score a goal in the 67th minute when forward Edson Buddle took his time on a run up the right side. Buddle played with the ball in front of Sounders defender Tyrone Marshall, waiting for Donovan to make his run. Donovan then bounded into the box and Buddle met him with a pinpoint cross. Donovan didn't waist anytime jamming the ball past Keller for the fourth and final score.

"We know we were the better team and we wanted to be aggressive and not let them dictate the game," Donovan said. "When we had chances to score and we were ruthless."

The win pushed the Galaxy to their seventh victory on the season, giving them a vice grip lead in the Western Conference with 22 points.

Meanwhile, Seattle continued their struggles, losing its third game to push them to 2-3-3 with just 10 points and near the bottom of the standings. Their trend of low scoring continued as Seattle was shut out for the third time already this season. The team will have to find answers next week against in New York against the Red Bulls, who have already defeated the Sounders 1-0 this season.

"It's not time to panic but it's time for people show their character and step up," Schmid said. "There are some changes that are going to be made.

"They got hammered on the field and right now they are hammered in the locker room."

Scoring Summary:

LA -- Jovan Kirovski 1 (Landon Donovan 7, Michael Stephens 3) 22

LA -- Omar Gonzalez 1 (Landon Donovan 8) 52

LA -- Todd Dunivant 1 (Landon Donovan 9) 57

LA -- Landon Donovan 1 (Edson Buddle 2) 67

Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, Bryan Jordan, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Christopher Birchall, Chris Klein (Tristan Bowen 63), Landon Donovan (Clint Mathis 71), Edson Buddle (Alex Cazumba 75), Jovan Kirovski.

Substitutes Not Used: Alan Gordon, Mike Magee, Juninho, Josh Saunders.

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Edson Buddle 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Edson Buddle 2, Jovan Kirovski 2); FOULS: 15 (Jovan Kirovski 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Landon Donovan 1, Tristan Bowen 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Landon Donovan 2); SAVES: 4 (Donovan Ricketts 4)

Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans (Sanna Nyassi 70), Osvaldo Alonso (Nathan Sturgis 37), Peter Vagenas, Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero (Miguel Montano 57), Steve Zakuani.

Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Ianni, Roger Levesque, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss.

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Osvaldo Alonso 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Freddie Ljungberg 2); FOULS: 9 (Leo Gonzalez 3); OFFSIDES: 10 (3 tied with 3); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Freddie Ljungberg 6); SAVES: 3 (Kasey Keller 3)

Misconduct Summary:

SEA -- Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution; Reckless Tackle) 38

SEA -- Leo Gonzalez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 48+

SEA -- Tyrone Marshall (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 62

LA -- Tristan Bowen (caution; Reckless Tackle) 64

Referee: Kevin Stott

Referee's Assistants: -Nate Clement; Frank Anderson

4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic

Attendance: 36,273

Time of Game: 1:51

Weather: Clear-and-60-degrees

All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

Seattle Sounders FC vs. L.A. Galaxy - May 8, 2010 - Quotes

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

(General Comments . . .) "Got beat and got beat solidly. Not the kind of game you want to ever repeat again."

(On allowing four goals . . .) "The first goal you don't expect a keeper like Keller to have that happen, but sometimes it does. The second goal was a good goal. Our marking could have been better but I thought we were tight and he put it in the corner. The third goal was inexcusable. It skipped past two guys. You have to not hope that someone else will do what you're supposed to. On the fourth goal we were ducks in a shooting gallery."

(On moving forward from this loss . . .) "It's not time to panic but it's time for some people to wake up and for character to step forward. When you're down two, three or four to nothing, you have to step up. Some guys we've asked to step up and it hasn't happened so changes are forthcoming. You have to play with energy. We let them control the game. We had to speed it up and no one on our side made that happen. We got hammered on the field and they should feel hammered in the locker room. They need to go inside and find their reaction and their inner core."

(On offside calls . . .) "A couple times we got called because guys were lazy coming back. A couple offsides weren't offsides - bad calls by the linesmen. A couple of them the ball was played too late. I thought we were inches off breaking them down in the first half. Then we came out and gave up the second goal seven minutes into the second half and a horrendous third goal. It's embarrassing."

(On lack of offense . . .) "Close to creating things but not creating things. We need guys that will give up their body in the box. We don't need six playmakers. We need guys who can score. We need more movement, harder running."

(On loss of Osvaldo Alonso to injury . . .) "I thought [Nathan] Sturgis did fine. I don't think that having Ozzy would have had an impact on the second or third goal."

(On team's effort . . .) "They have to believe in themselves and learn how to transfer that belief into effort. Not pleased with the effort when we were three goals down. Have to show character and say if we're going down, go down swinging and get a couple goals. Some had that attitude and some phoned it in."

(On worst loss as Sounders FC head coach . . .) "It is the toughest loss. Remind me to never wear a sport jacket again. It was the first time I've worn one and it will be the last time. When I was with the Galaxy, we took a few shellackings along the way. Sometimes something like this is good because when you get your rear end handed to you, people are a little more attentive to what you're telling them."

(On competition for spots . . .) "We compete for spots every week. I've given some guys a longer leash than others. That leash just tore today."

Kasey Keller - Sounders FC Goalkeeper

(General comments . . .) "I made a mistake and we went a goal down and we weren't able to recover from that. It's one of the tough things about goalkeeping. I thought we were doing OK. We had a goal that was called offside and it wasn't so that added to the frustration."

(On team's effort in second half . . .) "I didn't think that heads were down. Guys were disappointed, sure, but I didn't get the vibe that we were going to come out and perform the way we did."

(On Galaxy's first goal . . .) "It swirled on me, but the ball swirls every time it comes at you so there's no excuse. It moved and I didn't react in time."

(On moving forward from this loss . . .) "I hope we wake up and get better. There are some good characters on this team and I don't see any reason why we can't bounce back. I remember a year in the Premiere League when Man U lost 5-0 and came back and won the title. So it's not the end of the world."

Freddie Ljungberg - Sounders FC Midfielder/Forward

(On mistakes . . .) "We've made mistakes and we continue to make mistakes. They were constantly under attack and we made mistakes. That's something that we have to stop doing. In soccer, most goals are made on mistakes. So that's something we have to cut out to win games."

(On team's effort . . .) "In any team that will happen when the game gets that embarrassing. If it's within one point, people will still fight. But more than that, it's hard to stay engaged."

Miguel MontaƱo - Sounders FC Forward

(On how he played . . .) "I feel really good. I went into the field with a lot of enthusiasm. I think it was noted. I feel really good. I try really hard. It was my first game in MLS and with the Sounders and I felt very good about it. I tried to do my best but of course the result didn't come with us so I hope that for next game we will do better. That was disappointing for me."

(On entering game down three goals . . .) "Yes, I knew that we were down but I still entered the field with a lot of enthusiasm and we needed a goal - attack, attack, attack. I was doing my best to do that. Now we know that we need to do it better. We need the wins and we are going to try for that."

(On earning more playing time . . .) "It's not just about the game that we had today. I know that I have to keep working day-by-day to keep earning my position and I 'm going to keep working in that direction."

Bruce Arena - Galaxy Head Coach

(On his team having a good game against Seattle . . .) "The first half was pretty even. We got an important goal. The second half our team played really well."

(On the Sounders plan to stop Edson Buddle . . .) "Edson Buddle had a great game, I thought. He doesn't need to score goals all the time as a forward. He helps create goals and scoring opportunities. He held onto the ball well tonight. Landon [Donovan] and Edson played really well tonight by any way you evaluate performances."

(On Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle playing together for the U.S. National Team...) "That is not my choice. I have a different job than that."

(On his team playing better than today . . .) "This is one of those games where everything goes your way. Hopefully we are going to play better games and we will get better. We have to get better. We are only eight games and there is a lot of season left to play."

(On his team's defense . . .) "We played very well at that end of the field. [Donovan] Ricketts is outstanding."

Landon Donovan - Galaxy Midfielder

(On the team improving as the season progresses . . .) "We can play better. If we were playing better later in the game we could have scored five or six goals. You never want to take your foot off the gas. If it's the other way, teams can make mistakes."

(On when the team was able to take control of the match . . .) "We know we were the better team and we wanted to be aggressive and not let them dictate the game. They had the ball in the first half and our back line did a great job. When we had chances to score, we were ruthless."

(On teams focusing on stopping Edson Buddle...) "Our team is really good. A lot of attention is being placed on him and everyone else is doing a lot of things right to put him in that position. Today, he did a lot of things to get other people in the right position."

(On Edson Buddle proving himself to gain a spot on the U.S. National Team . . .) "Yes, absolutely."

Edson Buddle - Galaxy Forward

(On creating opportunities for his teammates to score . . .) "I knew it was going to be a physical match for myself and us. We were aware of the Sounders tendencies and it was up to me to find the runners coming through."

(On having his teammates take the lead and score . . .) "I never plan it that way. It just so happened this year I have been able to get on the score sheet early. It just so happened that guys were able to score and we had a good result here in Seattle."

(On being nervous about possible call up to the National Team . . .) "Not really. My focus is on playing here on Monday."

Reach Aaron Weinberg at