It was a frantic finish in Seattle on Sunday as the LA Galaxy were stunned in stoppage time by Chad Barrett's last minute equalizer and both teams walked away with one point in the 1-1 draw.
The Galaxy were minutes away from securing three huge points and a stranglehold on the Supporters' Shield race when they surrendered a heart breaking equalizer to the Sounders.
Seattle is the worst team in the league when it comes to scoring on set pieces, so of course the biggest goal of the season would come on such a play. Marco Pappa took the corner for the Sounders three minutes into stoppage time and Brad Evans was able to get his head on the ball, placing it into the path of a charging Barrett who buried it into the back of the net for the game-tying goal.
With the draw, the LA Galaxy clinch a berth in the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs and temporarily rise to the top of the Western Conference standings with 51 points. The two teams behind them, FC Dallas and Vancouver both have games in hand.
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane opened up the scoring with an unassisted goal in the 36th minute after he picked the pocket of Gonzalo Pineda and slotted it past Stefan Frei for the goal.
The goal was an erroneous mistake from a veteran team in the Sounders. Frei sent a free kick to Zach Scott who tried to make a back pass to Pineda who was running in the wrong direction. Keane easily intercepted the pass and slotted it into the bottom right corner of the net as Scott buried his head in his hands aware of his mistake.
56, 097 fans filled CenturyLink Stadium to cheer on the Seahawks --- I mean Sounders – a mistake probably made by most who watched the game on television as the field was decorated for Monday Night Football's matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks set to kick off the following night.
Both goals were located in the end zones as the penalty boxes were painted on with yellow paint over the yard markers for the NFL. Needless to say, the playing surface made for many football jokes and puns by the broadcasters announcing the game.
The match marked the first time that Galaxy players Steven Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos played in Seattle, and their first time playing on the slick and speedy artificial surface. Throughout the match players were frustrated with the pitch and the way the ball bounced off it.
LA Galaxy midfielder, Juninho, went down in the 76th minute with an apparent knee injury, and was replaced by Mika Varyrnen for the final fifteen minutes. After the game, the team did not release any information on the injury, but hopefully it is not serious.
Seattle came out with a flurry in the second half, as the Galaxy seemed content with sitting on their one-goal lead and waiting for counter opportunities. The Sounders dominated possession in the second half putting multiple shots on net.
The Sounders thought they had found the equalizer when Dempsey's cross fell right in front of the net for Brad Evans. A.J. DeLaGarza miraculously managed to kick the ball off the back of Omar Gonzalez and over the net to deny the tying goal.
With the capacity crowd of 56,097 ready to head for the exits saving their energy for the Seahawks game on Monday Night Football the following night, Barrett saved the day for the city with the stoppage time stunner.
Members of both teams will suit up for their country on Saturday as Mexico and the United States battle at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA with a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup on the line. After the match, they will return to their club teams as the Galaxy host Portland on Oct. 18 and Seattle travels to Houston.
Alan Gordon made his 100th appearance as a substitute when he came on for Dos Santos in the 87th minute.
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