CARSON, Calif. – So it wasn’t quite the star-studded affair it was billed to be.
Saturday’s clash between Sounders FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy was disappointingly played without Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, as the U.S. internationals were out with injuries, but the Western Conference showdown still didn’t lack for talent or quality goals.
The game did lack a dramatic winner, however, as the teams split a pair of first-half goals and settled for a 1-1 tie in front of 27,000 at a soldout StubHub Center.
Seattle’s five-game winning streak was snapped, but it maintained the best record in MLS at 15-8-5 despite having to play the final minutes a man down due to former Gonzaga standout Zach Scott getting ejected after earning his second yellow card.
The Galaxy (13-10-6) still hasn’t lost at home to the Sounders since 2009.
Dempsey didn’t travel for the game due to a hamstring strain. Donovan was out with a sprained ankle.
Both teams had chances for a late goal in a back-and-forth, physical battle.
The Galaxy appeared to have scored off a free kick in the 60th minute, but it was negated on a foul.
Seattle had to hold on desperately as the Galaxy missed on a dangerous free kick in the first minute of stoppage time and earned a corner kick in the closing seconds that was cleared away.
The Sounders’ best chance for a late goal came in the 83rd minute, but Lamar Neagle narrowly missed wide on a header set up nicely by substitute Brad Evans.
Seattle is 0-5-2 on the road against the Galaxy since 2010, having been outscored 14-3.
That history didn’t appear to matter in the 25th minute, when the Sounders opened the scoring. Eddie Johnson was left wide open on a Mauro Rosales corner kick that Johnson powerfully finished with a header.
The goal, which tied Johnson for the team lead with eight this year, ended Seattle’s road shutout streak against the Galaxy at 388 minutes dating to 2010.
The assist was Rosales’ 34th with the Sounders, tying Fredy Montero’s franchise record. He has connected with Johnson for 10 of those.