Four yellow cards and a handful of other incidents that could have produced even more littered the first half of the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders‘ Western Conference Championship first leg matchup.
That isn’t to say the first half was without a few quality chances, but as things stand at halftime, it’s 0-0, a scoreline which favors the visiting Sounders ever so slightly. Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena might also feel marginally satisfied with a 0-0 draw, anything to not concede a crippling first-leg away goal.
Just four minutes in, the game’s first chance fell to MLS MVP finalist Robbie Keane just outside the six-yard box. Stefan Ishizaki sent in a looping cross that found Keane, digging the ball out low and behind. Keane’s redirect attempt went a foot or two wide of Stefan Frei‘s left-hand post.
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Gyasi Zardes, scoreless in the Galaxy’s last six games, saw his first chance of the game come and go in 7th minute. Marcelo Sarvas let a through-ball run on at the top of the 18-yard box and Zardes found himself one-on-one with Frei, who pushed the first-time shot wide and out of play.
The first half’s most frantic moment came in the 21st minute when Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was forced into a reflexive double-save on a pair of Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey shots.
Robbie Rogers nearly got himself on the scoresheet as well, but Frei came up big once again when the left back made a darting run into the penalty area and fired low.
Without Osvaldo Alonso (hamstring injury) and Lamar Neagle (personal matters), Sigi Schmid will surely feel his side executed their gameplan very well for the first 45 minutes and hope to take the series back to Seattle level, at a minimum, next Sunday (9 pm ET).