SEATTLE – Two of Seattle Sounders FC’s biggest stars provided the heroics Wednesday, while two of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s biggest stars sat home.
Eddie Johnson recorded his second goal in five days, while Fredy Montero made his first goal of the season a memorable one in the Major League Soccer match.
The result was a 2-0 victory over the defending MLS Cup champions before a crowd of 39,002 at CenturyLink Field.
Both teams were playing the middle game in a stretch of three games in eight days, and Los Angeles traveled without David Beckham and goals-leader Robbie Keane.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid started with a more conventional lineup. However, the Sounders played the final 45 minutes with Bryan Meredith making his league debut in goal after starter Michael Gspurning left with a right-hip injury.
Meredith was a second-round pick in the 2011 SuperDraft, spent last season leading the Kitsap Pumas to the Premier Development League title, and returned to camp this season. Injuries to reserve keepers Andrew Weber and Josh Ford aided his climb up the depth chart.
Seattle (5-1-1) dominated Los Angeles (3-4-1) most of the way and had the best chances.
A couple of the early openings involved Montero, the Sounders’ career goals leader (34), who hadn’t managed any over the first six games of the league season.
Seattle finally broke through in the 40th minute, as Mauro Rosales launched a pass from the top of the attacking third. It came down near the penalty kick spot, where Johnson got his head to it, and snapped the ball past Los Angeles goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, who was making his second start of the season.
Montero’s breakthrough came in the 48th minute, when Los Angeles allowed him to dribble the ball through space. About 35 yards out, he pulled the trigger, sizzling a shot over Gaudette’s outstretched arm and into the far top corner.
The Sounders return to training this morning, turning their attention to their next league game, at 1 p.m. Saturday when the Philadelphia Union visits CenturyLink.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer Twitter: @donruiztnt