Three Points: Galaxy advance to second straight MLS Cup
SEATTLE— LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to Sunday’s 2-1 Seattle Sounders FC victory over the LA Galaxy that saw the Galaxy advance to the MLS Cup Final, 4-2 on aggregate.
KEANE PENALTY CHANGES THE GAME
Up two goals in the second leg and down one goal on aggregate, Seattle looked poised to even up the series, but a clever moment by Robbie Keane in the 67th changed the game entirely.
Barreling down the left side of the field, Keane found himself near the end line with Adam Johansson defending him, Keane fired a cross into the outstretched trailing hand of Johansson, causing referee Mark Geiger to award a penalty. After protests by Seattle, Keane stepped up with a little-stutter step before burying his penalty after Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning dove to his left.
Following the goal, Seattle pushed ahead in hopes of cutting LA’s advantage, but could not display the same fluid attack that gave them success early on in the match.
GALAXY DEFENSE HOLDS ON FOR THE WIN
The LA Galaxy defense may have bent, but they did not break against an onslaught from a motivated Seattle Sounders attack.
Perhaps the most influential defender on the night was midfielder Marcelo Sarvas, who helped LA withstand Seattle’s barrage, particularly in the first half. Throughout the match, Sarvas’ ability to win challenges as well as first and second balls seemed to cause considerable problems for the energetic Seattle attack. With Sarvas winning challenges, the Galaxy were able to slow down the frantic pace that clearly benefited the Sounders.
But as the seconds ticked down, it was goalkeeper Josh Saunders who made three saves on the night, his most important coming in the closing minutes of the match as he fisted away a point blank shot from David Estrada in the closing minutes to help seal LA’s ticket to the MLS Cup Final.
GALAXY TO HOST MLS CUP FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
It may not have been the prettiest season for the LA Galaxy, but for the third time in four years, the Galaxy advanced to the MLS Cup Final.
The 2012 final—which will take place on Dec. 1— will be a rematch of the 2011 edition as the LA Galaxy will host the Houston Dynamo after the Dynamo defeated D.C. United to advance out of the Eastern bracket. Due to their array of talent, the Galaxy will likely head into the final as favorites, but with players like Brad Davis, Will Bruin and Oscar Boniek Garcia, the Dynamo will provide worthy opposition for the Galaxy.
With their qualification for the final, the Galaxy has reached the final an MLS record eight times as well as berth into the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com