Buddle’s brilliant strike gives the Galaxy 1-0 victory over the Sounders

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BY ADAM SERRANO 

SEATTLE, WASH – The Los Angeles Galaxy took command of its Western Conference Quarterfinal Series with the  Seattle Sounders with a 1-0 victory in front of 35,521 at Qwest Field on Sunday night. 

A moment of brilliance by Edson Buddle was the difference in a physical and fast paced match. Other than Buddle's goal, Los Angeles spent a great deal of the match absorbing the Seattle attack, but withstood the pressure to keep the club's 13th shut out of the season.  

"Tough game and tough conditions for both teams, it was a pretty classic playoff game where you get a goal on the road and try to get out of here and that's what we did," said Arena. "It was big that we didn't get the second goal and that keeps the series alive so each side will have everything to play for in the second half."

Seattle dominated the early stages of the first half, but constantly failed to break through the Galaxy defense. The Sounders had an goal called back 32 seconds into the match when Steve Zakuani was ruled to be in an offside position. Seattle's inability to finish opened the door for the deciding goal in the 38th minute. The goal came when Omar Gonzalez played a ball into Buddle, who silenced the rowdy Qwest Field crowd with a turn and shoot goal from 35 yards out. The goal was Buddle's first in the post season for the Galaxy and his first in the playoffs in six years. The Galaxy are 12-1-1 when Buddle scores and an impressive 16-0-0 when leading at the half.

Buddle's strike may have given Los Angeles the victory, but the Galaxy missed a golden opportunity to double the lead in the 84th minute. Galaxy midfielder Juninho broke free of the Sounders defense and fired a shot that just missed Kasey Keller's net. Despite the missed opportunity by Juninho, Buddle was in awe of the strike that silenced the raucous Seattle crowd. 

"You think about those things coming in, but you focus on team and structure first. To get a go-ahead goal, it felt good," said Buddle. "The way the ball bounced is why I shot it. I got a volley on it and it hit perfect for me. When I shoot, I hope to score. The way I wanted it to go, it went. Usually it's not the case. I got good contact and the ball dipped just the way I wanted it to."

The agressors in the first half of the match, the Sounders forced Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to make a number of key saves to keep the score level. Ricketts made eight saves on the nightl, with seven coming in the first half.  His biggest stops came in the 23rd and 24th minute with a pair of saves on successive chances by Sounders forward Fredy Montero.

Although the Sounders put a great deal of pressure on the Galaxy, Seattle's flank combination of Steve Zakuani and Sanna Nyassi struggled to break through. Filling in for the injured Todd Dunivant, Eddie Lewis shut down Nyassi, who failed to make any impact on the match. On the opposite side of the field, Franklin performed admirably stopping Zakuani. Following the match, Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid was noticeably concerned about the lack of production from the flanks. 

“Franklin did a good job on Zakuani and they pinched the midfield pretty deep, and then you get a fortunate goal and it stands up then the game plan looks really good,” said Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “At the end of the day, we’re down at halftime 1-0 and we have the second half in LA and everything is still possible.”

With homefield throughout the playoffs, the Galaxy completed the 2010 road campaign, with only seven goals conceded away from the Home Depot Center. While the Galaxy have done well to keep its opponents off the board, the Sounders have struggled to score. Seattle has to score a goal in more than 300 minutes of playoff action, dating back to last season. This series will now shift to Los Angeles where the Galaxy will host the Sounders on November 7th at the Home Depot Center in the return leg. 

Sitting in the drivers seat after the first match, the Galaxy are hopeful of closing out the Sounders in front of the home crowd. 

"I thought it was a professional performance by us. We set our lineup early and we played some good football on the night," said midfielder David Beckham.  "Our togetherness is what won the game and put us in a good position. We're happy with tonight and now we have to go do a job at home."

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60 Responses to Buddle’s brilliant strike gives the Galaxy 1-0 victory over the Sounders

  1. bottlcaps says:

    Fantastic strike by Buddle. The remainder of the Galaxy playoff games, except for the MLS Cup, are all at home.

  2. CA says:

    Sounders looked sharper. Damn you Edson Buddle.

  3. Travis says:

    Completely true, but it will be very tough to get a result down there. Was hoping LA would be a bit more positive with their play, spent the first half trying to get set pieces and the second half not doing anything.

  4. acj says:

    They spent the second half playing organized solid defense. The sounders looked far more dangerous in the first half but I have to hand it to LA. They owned the second half.

  5. Travis says:

    In no way did LA own the second half. Yes they played solid D and broke out nicely a couple of times but they had little possession, which means you can not own anything.

  6. adam says:

    The lack of possession to focus on not conceding was almost certainly by design. They wanted to save the result on the road and they did; that’s extremely successful execution.

  7. acj says:

    They were doing exactly what their coach wanted them to do. Sit back, absorb pressure, and keep 10 men behind the ball. That’s what I mean by “owned.” I think Arena will be very happy with how his team played in the second half. Despite all of our possession they had the better chances in the second half.

  8. Top of the match: Landon Donovan (for playing stellar defense all 90 minutes)

    Flop of the match: John Harkes (need I expound?)

  9. Travis says:

    LA really only had one clear chance in the second half, although it was certainly the best one (shot by juninho). I know perfectly well that they were doing what their coach told them to do, trust me I have watched enough Arena coached teams. Bottom line is now the sounders have a serious amount of work to do if they care to advance, going on the road and getting a W is never easy to do.

  10. acj says:

    “Bottom line is now the sounders have a serious amount of work to do if they care to advance, going on the road and getting a W is never easy to do.”

    I’m with you there.

  11. Seattle Sam says:

    How can this happen???? Seattle has the best fans in the world!!! We practically INVENTED soccer! We wear RAVE GREEN SHIRTS! I DEMAND A RECOUNT!!!!

  12. Will Smith says:

    It looked further than 25 yards out to me, it looked about 32 yards out, but I could be wrong

  13. dpm says:

    well your basically piggy backing what he was saying throughout the game

  14. ciscokid says:

    It was an extremely frustrating result as a Sounders fan but hats off to LA for a tactically sound game Seattle never adjusted to in the 2nd half. A tie might’ve been a fair result but Seattle did not play well enough for 90 minutes to win.

    That said, Seattle definitely has the tools to pull off a win in LA. Difficult but not impossible. Should be very entertaining.

  15. Flop of the match (revised): dpm (for not realizing that I was feeding Harkes lines all throughout the game. Heck, I even had to tell him Buddle scored, because he was too busy yapping about nothing).

  16. sammysounder says:

    Omar Gonzalez deserves props for that victory. Gonzalez shut down NKufo and won more than his fair share of free-ball headers. Galaxy would have been lost without him.

  17. Too Strong Seattle Sounders Jones says:

    I was at the game near the Emerald City supporters. Although it maybe didn’t seem like it on tv, the crowd was kind of lackluster. The wind was knocked out of everyone after that really early chance that was called offsides. After that, the fans seemed tentative and angry, and incredibly nervous. Towards the end of the game, it was like all the love had been sucked out of Quest.

    Playoff soccer (like playoff basketball) is a lot rougher, and it seems like the sounders weren’t expecting it, or they weren’t able to persevere. Montero especially looked flustered and exasperated. This isn’t over by any means and I’m not counting my Sounders out yet.

    The main observation I came away with from sitting field side was that we normally play through the middle more. Tonight it was all long balls to Montero, Nkufo, and later Jaqua. I guess that’s what happens when you shut down our mid-field, in particular our flanks.

    Buddle’s strike was ridiculous.

  18. Jamesington says:

    Seattle just played a less cynical game. Credit to Buddle, and STFU Seattle Sam who is not from Seattle.

  19. Hopper says:

    The Sounders missed a big opportunity by not getting at least one goal in this game. They’re going to have to play a near perfect game next week in LA if they want to progress in these playoffs. So they have a chance, but it’ll be tough.

    So disappointing not to get a result in front of that crowd though. Never seen Qwest so hungry for a goal.

  20. The Insider says:

    I highly doubt the Galaxy are going to be able to keep Edson Buddle. My sources tell me that clubs all over Europe lining up for his services. In fact, Manchester United were keen on him until they determined they weren’t going to able to outbid the competition. So they decided to resign Wayne Rooney. And in my opinion, right now, Rooney can’t even be mentioned in the same wavelength as Edson Buddle.

    The Insider

  21. PC says:

    Tell that to Jose Mourinho, Eto’o playing RB, Inter, and their Treble.

  22. Emerald_City_Jason says:

    Was at the game as well and concur that the crowd was a little down all night. I partially blame the Sounders, as before the game they pumped in music and showcased the band in direct competition with the usual warm-up chants.

    There also seemed to be more fair-weather/bandwagon fans, as fewer people seemed familiar with the call-and-response duties.

  23. jayrig5 says:

    Funny stuff.

    Along more (relatively) serious lines, as someone with very little stake in MLS but with a lot of interest in the USMNT, how did Buddle not play more this summer? Whenever he was on the field, friendlies, late-game minutes, he was very good. And yet, no real role. Costly decision.

  24. Eric Wynalda says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Harkes needs to leave the booth. I could do way better.

  25. Isaac says:

    Wait wait wait…..YOU or Eric Wynalda. I can’t tell if it’s a joke or not…

  26. Leo says:

    Clearly you do need to expound, because “that guy” *points a finger* didn’t get it.

  27. KutamaObama says:

    Guys, the away goal rule applies to the playoffs, right? So if Sounders can score two goals at the Home Depot Center & Galaxy scores one, the the Sounders advances………….oohhhhh exciting!!!!!!

  28. bryan says:

    dude, they did exactly what they wanted. so in that sense, they did own the second half.

  29. bryan says:

    it was 35 yards…as the article points out.

  30. bryan says:

    no. no away goal rule.

  31. bryan says:

    although, im basing that off of what harkes said last night. so it very well could be incorrect information. haha but i’m pretty sure he is right.

  32. Troy says:

    When I lived in Seattle, there was a resentment towards people from LA. Does this still exist and is it focused on the Galaxy when they come to town?

  33. Mig22 says:

    no, you’re right Bryan, no away goal rule. For some reason or no reason. Anyone have a reason before I start ranting about MLS rules? Please, it’s early Monday and I don’t want to rant.

  34. Seattle Sam says:

    STFU?

    That means “Sounders To Find Uniquness!”

    I KNEW WE WERE SPECIAL & UNIQUE

    WE INVENTED SOCCER!

  35. lassidawg says:

    Jealousy is a wonderful thing

    We didn’t invent it, but as fans we sure do it better than anyone else in the MLS. Vancouver and Portland will force the Sounder fans to a higher level. Can’t wait for the Cascadia Cup to resume next year.

  36. Nicole says:

    I don’t know what game most of y’all were watching, but Seattle was most definitely NOT sharper than LA, nor did they dominate LA. It was back and forth, and LA had better, crisper passing and were the sharper team. They completely shut down Zakuani and Nyassi and Alonso – did he even play? LA had a perfect game plan and executed it to perfection.

  37. RedLine55 says:

    I don’t know why MLS doesn’t use it, but I personally have no problem with it. I actually don’t like the Away Goal Rule in most cases in Europe and other competitions (except when my teams benefit, of course! ha) I think it’s given way more credit and respect than it deserves, and if it is for the home “crowd” factor, then it would really a moot point in most MLS stadiums anyhow.

  38. Haha. Now, now, Leo… it’s not polite to point fingers. So from now on, let’s just refer to “that guy” as “him whose name we will not speak.”

  39. Mig22 says:

    Well, I agree that it may or may not be much of a factor in MLS but I think the rule is designed to encourage road teams to attack a bit more and not settle for the scoreless draw. Whether it works is a source of endless debate. :)

    Cheers.

  40. RedLine55 says:

    Yeah, I definitely hear ya about the intent of the whole thing, but I almost feel like it has too much of an opposite effect much of the time; putting the first leg’s home side on defense the whole game, trying not to concede that precious away goal. But judging from how spotty the usage is all over the globe (even within europe) there obviously is no consensus correct/fair way to do it just yet! And isn’t the debate part of the fun? ha

  41. golfstrom says:

    my guess is it’s to give the higher seeds some advantage by having extra time and pens in their place.

  42. Bob says:

    La played well, but seattle played right into La strengths on defense with trying to play a longball towards Nkufo who was covered by Gonzalez. If they passed the ball around the ground they probably would have done better especially since Gonzalez is nyo that fast. But hats off the Gonzalez for dominating the balls in the air though he was the tallest player.

  43. JJ says:

    It pains me to say, but I agree with you. But I think our long ball strategy was more to blame than anything LA did.

    The only thing I don’t like is the stalling/diving tactics that LA was much “sharper” on (Yes, I know all teams do this). Say what you want about Seattle, but stalling is never something they’re accused of. And with Ljungberg gone, we’re not accused of diving much either.

    Wait … what’s that in the distance … Yep, it’s Donovan “Rickety Cricket” Ricketts laying down in front of his goal, preparing for next week’s match.

  44. Colin says:

    Jealousy… because everyone knows that they give the MLS Cup and Supporters Shield to the team with the most fans at the games…

  45. Colin says:

    Ricketts was just sore from having to dive on that god awful field turf all night. Can’t blame him.

  46. Mattmatumbo says:

    I have to agree, they didn’t allow any goals. That’s a pretty good way to “own” a half.

  47. Nicole says:

    Seattle was outcoached and outplayed.

  48. Mattmatumbo says:

    Jealousy, because SSFC still hasn’t done anything spectacular. And i was rooting for them until… well, we all saw it.

  49. Mattmatumbo says:

    Nearly had a hand-ball in the box too. that was a “WTF are you thinking” moment.

  50. Mattmatumbo says:

    Yeah, if they can score 1, if they can’t score 1, they’re out.

  51. Mattmatumbo says:

    Never mind! Forgot, this is the MLS!

  52. huricano says:

    Such a nice moment for Buddle. I tuned in too late, but saw it on replay. Between LA and NY I think we might be seeing the most talented MLS teams ever. Anyone agree, or am I just being myopic?

  53. GW says:

    Hindsight.

    He’s good now and was good in the run up but he was on the field in the World Cup against Algeria, and had a very good chance on a header off a cross from Dolo and sent it right at the keeper.

    He makes that, and he easily could have, and there is no need for Donovan’s dramatic goal and maybe he earns more playing time. Other than that shot he looked out of place. In that game it was Jozy’s cross that led to Dempsey’s shot which led to Donovan’s rebound goal.

    It’s the World Cup you have no time to experiment and when you are given a chance you have to make things happen right away or it’s next man in line.

    It’s Buddle’s fault. If he wanted more time he should have made that header. He should still be selceted for the USMNT but he blew his shot at the World Cup.

  54. Seattle Sam says:

    We sure do!

    We are the greatest fans!

    We have a great team & we have great coffee!

    You’re right! We are the best!

    Gary Rosalee, baby!

  55. Judging Amy says:

    Very good is a stretch. He looked okay in his minutes against not always good opposition. You’re seeing his production now and its coloring your perception of how he actually played back then.

  56. I hate Seattle says:

    There is no away goal rule in MLS, Seattle Hipsters.

  57. Charles says:

    NY ?

    I would put SLC in there before NY. Probsbly Dallas too.

  58. TBE says:

    Hahaha. Exactly.

  59. dpm says:

    ya definately did not follow what you had to say throughout the game, nor do i care