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LA Galaxy Outlast Seattle Sounders 4-2 in U.S. Open Cup Quarter-finals


The Set Up

This quarterfinal edition of the U.S. Open Cup was a bit of an odd one. With the Crossfit games occupying the main field at StubHub center, the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders were forced to move to a different field in the same complex, the Track & Field Stadium.

The game had a bit of a college atmosphere, minus the drunk and disorderly student section.

Despite the rivalry that has formed between the Galaxy and the Sounders over the years in the MLS, the same cannot be said for the U.S. Open Cup competition where they have only met twice previously. The Sounders won both of those meetings in 2010 and 2011 en route to also winning the U.S. Open Cup both of those years.

The Galaxy were looking for their fifth win in a row in all competitions.

The Sounders were trying to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat against rivals Portland Timbers on the weekend.

Here we go.

First Half

The Galaxy showed their best and worst side in the opening five minutes of the game. In the third minute, Emmanuel Boateng shaved the post as the ball just missed going in the back of the net.

However, just two minutes later, the Sounders pounced on a horrendous mistake by Leonardo in the back and Michael Farfan made no mistake from close range as he dinked the ball over the on-rushing Clement Diop, 1-0 Sounders.

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In the 12th minute of play Alan Gordon had a chance to head in a ball that floated to him on the back post. Sounders defender Tony Alfaro was perfectly placed to deny Gordon the goal.


Alan Gordon scored the opening goal for the Galaxy in U.S. Open Cup tournament quarterfinal round. Picture by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time.

Gordon would get revenge in the 17th minute when a shot-cross by Baggio Husidic found Gordon unmarked in the box for the tap in. Ironically it was Alfaro that kept Gordon onside 1-1.

In the 22nd minute there was almost a great solo goal by Zach Mathers. The Sounders midfielder won the ball on top of his box and dribbled the full length of the field before cutting a Galaxy defender on the top of the box for a wide open shot. Unfortunately for him, the shot was tame and easily corralled by Diop in goal.

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One minute later it was the Galaxy who almost got their noses in front as Alan Gordon spun with the ball in the middle of the field and found a streaking Sebastian Lletget. Lletget teed up the shot but it just drifted wide of the goal.

In the 33rd minute Oniel Fisher made a goal saving header as the Galaxy’s well worked set piece was heading towards the back of the net.

Both teams headed into the half tied with 3 shots on goal a piece.

Second Half

The Sounders were the better team out of the gates in the second half and it finally paid off in the 59th minute. A hopeful ball by Dylan Remick found an unmarked Hercules Gomez on the back-post. From an impossible angle, the former Galaxy player was able to nestle a side foot volley through Diop and past Leonardo into the goal 2-1 Sounders.

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The Sounders almost made it 3-1 as Leonardo made another mistake misjudging a long ball. Gomez got in behind the back line but squared it to a sprinting Oalex Anderson, but he put his point blank shot well over the bar.

Bruce Arena put in his big guns Giovani dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes in the 74th minute and it paid off almost instantly.

Just three minutes after their introduction Zardes pressured Sounders defender Zach Scott into a bad pass that was intercepted by Gio and he was able to round the goalkeeper and pass the ball in 2-2. A bad pass is really an understatement, it was a horrendous pass that ultimately cost his team the game.

In the 85th minute the Galaxy would go ahead for good. Husidic slid a perfect cross through the 6-yard box that was met by the sliding Lletget who pushed the ball into the net 3-2 Galaxy.

In the 87th minute the Galaxy continued to mount pressure as Boateng rounded the Sounders defense and set up Lletget from 10 yards out. Sounders goalkeeper Tyler Miller made a wonderful save at full stretch to prevent Lletget this time.

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However, there was nothing he could do in the 88th minute as Zardes and Lletget tore apart the Sounders defense with one-two combination passing down the center of the field which freed up Lletget, who smashed the ball past Miller 4-2 Galaxy.

Game over.


The Galaxy have now won 5 games in a row and have shown no signs of slowing down.

However, they continue to make things harder than they have to be. Tonight, a defensive mistake and a miraculous goal from an impossible angle nearly doomed them into another year of being out of the competition.


Cozmo carrying around the winning flag. Picture by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time.

Arena showed the utmost confidence in his team despite them trying his patience when they went down 2-1. Gio and Zardes showed their class when they entered the game as they danced around defenders and caused havoc.

Jo-Ryan Salazar only got 1 of his 10 predictions correct. Which must mean that this team is so unpredictable that even someone who helps cover them can’t even see what’s about to happen.

The Sounders wasted an opportunity to steal one tonight with the Galaxy once again not playing their best soccer. The Sounders never recovered after the defensive giveaway by Scott to allow the Galaxy to tie the game.

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Gio dos Santos slides the ball into the net to tie the game at 2-2. Picture by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time.

When the Sounders went down, there was very little encouragement by the players on the field that they could bounce back. The lack of leadership hurt them in the end. It was unfortunate because the Sounders were the better team in the second half until that point.

Man of the Match

Sebastian Lletget wins MOM honors tonight. His consistent play and contribution throughout the match finally played dividends as he scored the game winning goals in a three minute span.


Picture by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time.

Looking Ahead Galaxy

The Galaxy boast arguably the deepest amount of talent in the MLS and flex it on a weekly basis. Players like 2013 league MVP Mike Magee, Nigel de Jong, and Sebastian Lletget who are very good players are able to play major minutes in this competition when other teams resort to their reserve squad players.


Galaxy stars Gio dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes warm up in second half. Picture by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time.

The Galaxy will need all hands on deck as they embark on a difficult gauntlet of games in the coming weeks with games against Portland, Seattle, New York Red Bulls, Colorado Rapids, and NYCFC with the semi-final nestled somewhere in between.

Looking Ahead Sounders

A head scratching performance for Seattle who just can’t seem to figure it out this year. The 5-0 win against FC Dallas on July 13 looked like a turning point in the season. However, back to back losses to rival teams have the Sounders searching for answers. The Sounders currently sit in 9th place in the Western Conference.


Sounders coach Sigi Schmid after the loss. Picture by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time.

However, it is not all bad for the Sounders. If Anderson would have finished his opportunity and Scott not played that terrible pass, the Sounders might have won this one. Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20 and in the end the quality of the Galaxy squad combined with the mental weakness that the Sounders displayed in the final 10 minutes, did them in.

The Sounders could use the transfer window to add some depth in their defense as well as an offensive midfielder to help create space and opportunities for Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris.


Seattle Sounders Jordan Morris. Picture by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time.

Next Game

Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansa City, MLS Regular Season. Sunday, July 24, 12:00 p.m. at Sporting Park.

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers, MLS Regular Season. Saturday, July 23, 12:30 p.m. Providence Park.

Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news. Stay connected on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and subscribe to our YouTube page.

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