SEATTLE – It was one of the craziest games in recent memory, but in the end, the Seattle Sounders removed the postseason monkey from their back and defeated the defending Champion LA Galaxy 3-2 on a rain filled night at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday.
Clint Dempsey, Nelson Valdez and Erik Friberg all scored for the Sounders as they overcame first half strikes from Sebastian Lletget and Gyasi Zardes.
The victory sends the Sounders to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, and means an early exit for the reigning MLS Cup champions.
Wednesday's first round loss was the first of it's kind for the Galaxy under head coach Bruce Arena who has made it to the second round or later in each of the last seven seasons.
After the game, both Arena and many of the stars for the Galaxy shared their thoughts on the dramatic and heart breaking loss:
LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena:
"I think Christmas came early in Seattle. We absolutely gift wrapped that game for them tonight. Our play in front of our goal defensively was atrocious. We just gift wrapped them those three goals. Give them credit –they jumped on the mistakes, but we were shockingly poor."
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LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane:
"It's very Irish to never point fingers, but as a group of players you know we have to take responsibility for ourselves. When you concede three goals away from home and you have to score two, it's always difficult to win the game. Obviously everyone is disappointed."
LA Galaxy Midfielder Steven Gerrard:
"If you don't win trophies at the end of a season, it's always disappointing. You have to dose yourself down and get ready to go again. Credit to Seattle, they won the game tonight in a one-off game, but for those it just seems like we have to score three or four goals for the lads to win games and that's what we have to anaylize over the winter."
LA Galaxy Forward Gyasi Zardes:
"This year it was the same story – it was tough to get the road win. We tried to overcome it throughout the year, but you notice once we play away we didn't get the results we wanted. Now we have to prepare for next season."
LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez:
"This is a first for me. Never been out this early. It stings and I'm sure it will sting more in the coming days. We win and lose as a team. Thanks to my teammates for a great year. To our fans, thank you for sticking by us. We fell short, but 2016 we'll be stronger and hungrier."