The LA Galaxy needed a victory against the Seattle Sounders and other league results to go in their favor if they were going to potentially have a spot in the playoffs, but were ultimately eliminated as they gave up a late goal and settled for a 1-1 draw.
With wins from San Jose and Colorado, this closed out and sealed the final playoff berths in the Western Conference.
The first half saw the Galaxy create good opportunities, with a chance coming within 5 minutes as Daniel Steres missed an open header that went well wide off of a corner kick from Cristian Pavon.
In the 14th minute, the Galaxy had a great chance on another corner, as Pavon sent in a cross into the box that rebounded off of the hands of Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, and in the path of Sebastian Lletget who lobbed the ball in the air and Daniel Steres with a header on goal which was blocked by defender Alex Roldan, hit the crossbar and was cleared out.
The Galaxy were the team creating runs and finding space in the offensive half, while Seattle struggled to respond on the other end. Around the 26th minute mark, LA found themselves on a counterattack and Sacha Klejstan sent a through pass to an open Ethan Zubak, who’s right-footed shot skimmed the hands of Stefan Frei and hit the post to stay out.
The first half ended 0-0 with LA being the dominant team but not able to put one in the net.
After several unfinished chances, the tide turned around the 78th minute when Chicharito nutmegged Seattle defender Joao Paulo to get the ball to Efrain Alvarez, and with a nice give and go pass Chicharito was able to bury a close shot past Frei to give the Galaxy the lead.
While it looked that the Galaxy were going to steal the game away, the defense were caught sleeping in stoppage time when Seattle found space on the attack as Jordan Morris fed the ball through to Peruvian international Raul Ruidiaz, who shot was partially blocked by goalkeeper David Bingham but managed to go inside the net to seal the draw.
A Few Takeaways from this Match…
It is clear that interim head coach Dominic Kinnear has had an immediate impact on this team. On the field, their confidence level looks boosted, and they are able to create meaningful chances in the final third, which is something that was lacking and inconsistent under Guillermo Barros Schelotto. In last night’s match, his first two substitutions contributed to the goal.
This should not come as a surprise, as Kinnear was previously in the same position at the end of the 2018 season when he took over for Sigi Schmid, coaching the Galaxy’s last 6 games, almost bringing them to a playoff run.
Although there are other names that have been circulating in the search for a new Galaxy head coach, Dominic Kinnear should also be considered given the results he has had with the team.
Overall, it has not been a good season for Chicharito. The fanfare that was blaring during his arrival has long subsided. Nevertheless, he showed a flash of promise last night with a play that ended up in a great goal, and an imitation of a Lebron James celebration.
Rumors have surfaced stating that he may be loaned out to Chivas Guadalajara in Liga MX due to his performance, however, this move may be highly unlikely, considering the future management changes that may give him another chance to redeem himself next season, and given the amount of money it took to bring him to LA with two years left on his contract.
Inconsistency and disappointment have marked this 2020 season. A worldwide pandemic, an unbalanced schedule, a lack of cohesive play, and coaching factors made this probably one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
With the stress of trying to make the playoffs now over, the Galaxy can focus on rebuilding the team and finishing out the season strong.
Featured Image: Jayda Evans/Seattle Times