Sounders FC Captures 2-1 Comeback Victory at LA Galaxy, Remaining Unbeaten in 2021
CARSON, CALIF. - Sounders FC (6-0-3, 21 points) fought back to earn a 2-1 victory over the LA Galaxy (5-3-0, 15 points) on Saturday evening at Dignity Health Sports Park. After falling behind to an early Galaxy penalty kick, Yeimar headed home an equalizer before the halftime whistle. Fresh off international duty with Peru, striker Raúl Ruidíaz recorded his seventh goal of the season in the 49th minute, securing all three points for the Rave Green in Southern California. Seattle moves to 2-0-0 this season against the Galaxy following a 3-0 win at Lumen Field on May 2. Brian Schmetzer's side maintains pole position in Major League Soccer, one point ahead of the New England Revolution in the Supporters' Shield race, and four points ahead of Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference.
The home side kicked off the scoring in the 21st minute via penalty kick, after Javier Hernández was fouled inside the 18-yard-box. Sacha Kljestan converted the ensuing spot-kick, giving the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.
Seattle found the equalizer 20 minutes later via Yeimar Gómez Andrade, with the Colombian heading in a corner kick from João Paulo for his first goal of the season. It marked the fifth assist of 2021 for the Brazilian, ranking second in MLS.
Ruidíaz gave the visitors a 2-1 lead minutes after halftime for his seventh goal of the season, tied with the Galaxy's Hernández for the lead in the MLS Golden Boot race. After Yeimar found Cristian Roldan with a back-heel pass inside the area, the initial shot was saved by goalkeeper Jonathan Bond. Ruidíaz pounced on the loose ball and knocked it into the net. With the tally, Ruidíaz has seven goals in seven career regular season matches against the Galaxy, passing Roldan for the most goals in club history against LA.
Saturday's match marked the first contest in a stretch of three games in eight days for Seattle, as the club hosts RSL on Wednesday, June 23 (7:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, June 26 (6:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Saturday's comeback victory ensures that Seattle remains unbeaten in 2021. Through nine matches, the club has six wins and three draws, good for 21 points.
Following the win, Seattle remains atop both the Supporters' Shield race and MLS Western Conference standings. The Rave Green lead the New England Revolution by one point for the top record in MLS, while also maintaining a four-point lead over Sporting Kansas City in the West.
Despite conceding a penalty-kick goal tonight, Seattle still has not allowed a goal from the run of play in 2021. Of the league-leading four goals the club has allowed, two have come from penalties and two have come from direct free kicks.
Sounders FC maintains the best goal difference in MLS (+12) while also ranking second in the league in scoring (16 goals; Sporting Kansas City leads with 17 goals in 2021).
Seattle now has 16 wins, 15 losses and 11 draws all-time in all competitions against the Galaxy. Sounders FC is unbeaten in the club's last seven matches against the Galaxy (four wins and three draws). Seattle last lost to LA on September 23, 2018, a 3-0 road defeat.
Raúl Ruidíaz's second-half goal gives him seven strikes so far in 2021, tied with the Galaxy's Javier Hernández for first in MLS. The Peruvian has seven goals in seven career regular season matches against the Galaxy, passing Cristian Roldan for the most goals in club history against LA.
João Paulo's assist on Yeimar's goal marked his fifth of the season, second in MLS behind New England's Carles Gil.
Yeimar's goal in the 41st minute of play was his first goal of 2021 and his third overall in two seasons with the Rave Green.
21-year-old defender AB Cissoko made his Sounders FC debut tonight, starting in place of the injured Nouhou, who sustained an adductor strain while on international duty with Cameroon. Cissoko was signed from Tacoma Defiance on May 21, after making 12 appearances for the club's USL affiliate in 2020.
With the result today, Sounders FC is now unbeaten in a club-record nine games to start the 2021. Brian Schmetzer's side is the 10th team in league history to begin a season with nine games unbeaten.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 - LA Galaxy 1
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Venue: Dignity Health Sports Park
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Kathryn Nesbitt
Fourth Official: Ismir Pekmic
VAR: Kevin Stott
Weather: 74 and sunny
LAG - Sacha Kljestan (penalty) 21'
SEA - Yeimar (João Paulo) 41'
SEA - Raúl Ruidíaz 49'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Cleveland; Alex Roldan (Will Bruin 87'), Yeimar, Shane O'Neill, Abdoulaye Cissoko (Danny Leyva 87'), Brad Smith; Kelyn Rowe, João Paulo, Cristian Roldan; Fredy Montero (Jimmy Medranda 76'), Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Spencer Richey, Ethan Dobbelaere, Reed Baker-Whiting
Total shots: 11
Shots on goal: 7
LA Galaxy - Jonathan Bond; Julian Araujo, Sega Coulibaly, Daniel Steres (Nick DePuy 8'), Jorge Villafana (Cameron Dunbar 90'+1'); Victor Vazquez, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget (Ethan Zubak 90'), Efrain Alvarez (Samuel Grandsir 79'); Kevin Cabral, Javier Hernández
Substitutes not used: Jonathan Klinsmann, Danilo Acosta, Adam Saldana, Jonathan Perez, Oniel Fisher
Total shots: 6
Shots on goal: 2
Images from this story
Seattle Sounders FC forward Raúl Ruidíaz (right) vs. the LA Galaxy
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Major League Soccer Stories from June 19, 2021
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