All losses hurt. Some losses are one-sided affairs, like the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 3-0 loss to Seattle in May at Lumen Field.
That day, the Galaxy was far off the mark. 

Head Coach Greg Vanney was forced into resting players coming back from injury, and the El Trafico just six days after this match surely played into his roster decisions as well.

It all made for probably the flattest Galaxy performance of the season

It also showed the gulf between Seattle, who is probably the most informed team in the league, and L.A., who has started the season better than expected but will need to get past teams like the Sounders to be a contender. 

Before that 3-0 loss, Vanney spoke about the Galaxy limiting their defensive mistakes against Seattle.

“We want to get through a game where we don’t give up a silly goal or two,” Vanney said. “We want to keep clean and tight. You need to do that when you go on the road and play a team as good as they are.”

The Galaxy didn’t get it right that day in that loss, and the silly goals came back to bite them against Seattle again this past Saturday for the first full capacity match at Dignity Health Sports Park in over 15 months.

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The Galaxy dropped their first home match of the season and could not give the crowd of 23,165 fans a win despite getting the match’s first goal.  

Two Seattle goals, eight minutes apart on either side of half-time, were the Galaxy’s undoing despite controlling large parts of the game and looking more dangerous with their chances on goal. 

Where the 3-0 loss against Seattle in May seemed very much humbling by a better team, Saturday was more than evenly matched, and Seattle can count itself fortunate to escape Los Angeles with three points.

A post in the first half and a solid reaction save by Seattle keeper Stefan Cleveland in second-half stoppage time are all that stood between a Galaxy win and Seattle being handed their first loss of the season.

“So frustrating and disappointing to lose at home in front of the big crowd,” Midfielder Sacha Kljestan said. “It was so fun to play in front of them again… but I feel like if we play like that with and without the ball, I think we’re going to be pretty good.” 

Vanney agreed with the veteran midfielder, who calmly scored the Galaxy’s only goal on a penalty with immense poise.

“Through a good stretch of the game, I thought we had nice control of the game,” Vanney said. “I think the goals when you’re playing against Seattle Sounders or a top team in this league; you can’t give up goals like that at times like that.”

Despite the loss, the Galaxy clearly showed they’d made improvements, and they can play with Seattle.  That the Galaxy did so without key starters like Jona dos Santos and Derek Williams doesn’t bode well for Seattle’s continued dominance over the Western Conference.

It also sets up a monster of a match when the Galaxy plays away at Seattle in their second-to-last game of the season, telling us just how much progress the L.A. has made.

So while the Galaxy lost on Saturday, it didn’t hurt. It was, instead, encouraging. It also served a purpose.
It puts Seattle on notice; the Galaxy is coming.

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