The Los Angeles Galaxy experience and patience earned them another trip to the MLS Cup Finals with an aggregate win over the Seattle Sounders Sunday Night at Century Link Field.
The Galaxy will look to become the first club to win five MLS titles when they host the New England Revolution in MLS Cup on Dec. 7 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
The game will be an MLS-record ninth Cup appearance for the Galaxy and third in the past four years, and will be the third championship match played between the Galaxy and Revolution (2002, 2005).
LA lost to Seattle 2-1 but advanced after having scored the lone away goal in the two legged series. LA won 1-0 at home.
With a goal advantage , LA’s strategy was simple. Push the ball up the field, stretch the home side and look for opportunities to score on the counter attack.
“We started the game the way we wanted to, we put a lot of pressure on them and played on their half of the field, they really had nothing until the goal and that they gave them some energy, ” LA’s Landon Donovan said after the game.
“Our attention was to come and score goals so when Seattle went up 2-0 we wanted to make sure we did not give up a third and we just persevered and pulled through, this is a just a step in accomplishing our overall goal, said Donovan
After being dominated for the first 20 minutes of the game, the Seattle Sounders came to life in the 23rd minute of the first half and took a 1-0 lead in the 26 minute on a right footed shot by Captain Brad Evans.
With it’s energy and swagger back, Seattle continued to push forward and was rewarded in the 32 minute when Clint Dempsey slammed home a De Andre Yedlin cross to give the host a 2-0 lead in the game and 2-1 in the aggregate.
With Osvaldo Alonso and Lamar Neagle back in the line up after missing game one, Seattle looked like it was headed for the franchise ‘s first MLS Cup Finals after 45 minutes.
Hope turned into dispair when Galaxy defender Juninho hit an exquisite right footed shot that narrowed the game score to 2-1 and gave LA the aggregate goal lead in the 54th minute.
“We told our guys at halftime we just needed a goal and Juninho finally hit the goal we have all being waiting for, it was a great goal and we had to hang on at the end but we grinded it out,” LA Coach Bruce Arena said after the game.
So for the third time in five years the LA Galaxy knocked the Seattle Sounders FC out of the payoffs and sent 46,785 fans to ponder what could have been.
” Close once again close, better than last year and just 25 minute from hosting an MLS Cup, it was not from guys not trying we were a bit unlucky, overall a successful season, “Sounder Captain Brad Evans said after the game.