SEATTLE—Los Angeles’ early-season success has proven that Landon Donovan doesn’t always need to score for the Galaxy to keep winning. Never was that more evident than in Seattle on Saturday, when the Galaxy captain helped set up three goals as Los Angeles rolled, 4-0. He also added the game's fourth score.
In all, four different Galaxy players found the net as Seattle suffered their worst home defeat in their short history. Jovan Kirovski, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant and Donovan, who now has a league-leading nine assists on the season, all found the net.
The lone bright spot for Seattle was the promising debut of Colombian teenager Miguel Montaño.
Seattle kept the 4-3-3 formation that worked so well the week before against Columbus. Los Angeles, coming off a midweek match, made three changes. Bryan Jordan replaced the ailing A.J. DeLaGarza at right back, while Kirovski (for Alan Gordon) and Chris Klein (for Juninho) also started. Edson Buddle and Donovan led the Galaxy’s league-best attack.
The match took a few minutes to get going as each team felt the other out. Seattle focused on possession, stringing together a couple dozen passes on a couple different occasions while the Galaxy were content to defend. Tyrone Marshall drew the early assignment on Buddle and the striker was mostly quiet, recording a weak shot in the 13th minute in his first real action.
The complexion of the game changed on an early mistake, with Kirovski scoring in the 22nd minute on a shot from outside the area. Seattle’s Kasey Keller looked to have the ball in his sights, but the effort snuck through his fingers for the early lead.
Donovan had a hand in the goal, having set up Kirovski’s blast with a lovely first-time layoff to Michael Stephens, who fed Kirovski.
The goal allowed Los Angeles to sit back even farther and counterattack with Donovan and Buddle. It took a few minutes for Seattle to get their composure back, but Osvaldo Alonso answered with a shot that went high of Ricketts’ goal in the 28th minute. Seattle was forced to make a substitution in the first half with Nathan Sturgis replacing Alonso, who pulled up lame in midfield with a right quadriceps injury.
There were no changes at halftime as Los Angeles looked to cling to their one-goal lead. That task became markedly easier thanks to Gonzalez. The Galaxy center back squeezed a header underneath the crossbar off a corner kick from Donovan. It was Gonzalez’s first goal of the season and Donovan’s second assist of the game. There was more to come.
Shortly after, Los Angeles added a third. This time, Todd Dunivant ghosted in to head home a bouncing Donovan free kick that Seattle failed to clear. The rout was on.
By this point, Seattle were reeling and Tyrone Marshall picked up a cheap yellow card. Newly-signed Montaño saw his first action for the Sounders, but it was Los Angeles who scored the next goal. This time, Buddle found Donovan streaking into the penalty area for the final margin.
Los Angeles have three consecutive wins in eight days time, lengthening the already cavernous gap at the top of the Western Conference standings. With the loss, Seattle have only two points in their last four matches and face a difficult road trip to resurgent New York next weekend.
Los Angeles Galaxy (7-0-1) vs. Seattle Sounders (2-3-3)
May 08, 2010 -- Qwest Field
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.
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.
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
Time of Game: 1:51