Galaxy can’t find scoring touch in 3-0 loss to Sounders
Brad Smith scored one goal and assisted on another, Raul Ruidiaz scored twice, and the Seattle Sounders stymied Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and the Galaxy in a 3-0 win on Sunday night.
Seattle remained unbeaten on the young season, getting a pair of goals three minutes apart in the first half and keeping Chicharito from continuing his early-season scoring barrage for the Galaxy.
It was Seattle’s goal-scoring sniper who gave the Sounders the early advantage in the 20th minute, when Ruidiaz volleyed a cross from Smith past Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
Three minutes later, Smith completed a terrific build up by the Sounders following up his initial shot that was saved by Bond for his second straight game with a goal. Smith had Seattle’s only goal in its 1-1 draw with Los Angeles FC last week.
Ruidiaz added a second goal late in second-half stoppage time, giving him four goals on the young season.
The Galaxy add defender Séga Coulibaly to their roster while moving closer to a deal with forward Augustine Williams.
“We all know what we kind of need to do in every position. For me personally it’s good that I can go forward and join the attack,” Smith said. “I can definitely get forward more and help the team.”
While Seattle gave itself numerous scoring chances at the Galaxy goal, its defense also managed to make Chicharito mostly invisible after his blistering start to the season.
“They’re a very good team who has been together for a while and exposed a lot of things for us, and for me that that we need to continue to improve upon. That’s what today was,” first-year Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said.
Hernandez had five goals in the first two games for the Galaxy, scoring a pair in their opening 3-2 victory over Inter Miami and following up with a hat trick in last week’s 3-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls. Hernandez was just the second player in league history to have five goals in the first two games of the season, joining former Houston star Brian Chang.
Seattle was determined not to let Chicharito have the same influence. Hernandez had just one shot and never found himself open in a scoring position. The Galaxy had just two shots on goal in the match.
“I thought we just did a really nice job of cutting off his service and not allowing him to dictate game inside the penalty box,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said.
There was also a brief injury scare early in the second half when Hernandez landed awkwardly leaping for a header and immediately grabbed at his left foot. Hernandez was checked by athletic trainers and after a couple minutes of limping appeared to be fine.
Seattle’s domination in possession and limiting touches for Hernandez led to numerous scoring chances for the Sounders in the second half. Kelyn Rowe had a pair of terrific chances, the best a header that bounced of the crossbar and post but didn’t cross the goal line.
Seattle finished with nine shots on goal, but it was the defensive effort that drew most of the praise. Seattle and Orlando City are the only two teams in the league to have played three games and allowed just one goal.
“It’s difficult to break us down and that’s what we wanted to do. You saw a little bit of frustration form Chicharito and I thought defensively we did a very good job,” Rowe said.