On a night when Sigi Schmid's past and present collided, the veteran Major League Soccer coach came away with a point and a clean sheet as the Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC could not break the deadlock. Schmid, who had been appointed by the Galaxy earlier this week after the exit of Curt Onalfo, will be the happier of the two coaches tonight as the draw saw them half a five game consecutive losing streak. The Sounders head coach, Brian Schmetzer, will be disappointed by the lack of chances his side created and their inability to convert the few chances they got.
Bruin fails to capitalize on the best chance of the half
There was no real goal mouth action in the first half as neither side was able to find a way past the defenses on the night. The likes of Romain Alessandrini, Nicolás Lodeiro, and Clint Dempsey were well marshaled by both teams midfielders, which then had the knock on effect of nullifying both Will Bruin and Gyasi Zardes.
The first real shot in anger of the game came from Nouhou Tolo who tried to blast it in from a long way out but it went high into the stands and didn't trouble Brian Rowe in goal. Zardes then popped up in the 38th minute to try and curl the ball from outside the box but he sent his effort straight into the hands of Sounders' goalkeeper Stefan Frei. The best chance of the half fell to Bruin in extra time at the end of the first half when a chipped pass from Kelvin Leerdam played him through on goal. Rowe was out quickly to close down the striker but Bruin should have done better with the opportunity as he sent his shot wide of the goal.
Van Damme sees red at the end the second half
The second half was the same story even with the introduction of Jordan Morris, who on previous occasions had been the difference maker against the Galaxy. Emmanuel Boateng, Zardes, Jermaine Jones and Alessandrini all had half looks at goal but on all occasions, their efforts were either blocked by a defender, they could not find the target or Frei was in the right place to make an easy save. The Sounders had similar half chances throughout the second half through Morris, Dempsey and Román Torres late in the game, but just like the Galaxy, nothing came to fruition for them.
The last flashpoint of the game was when Jelle Van Damme picked up his second yellow card of the night and got given his marching orders. It was a horrible two-footed challenge on Lodeiro that could have easily seen the Galaxy captain pick up a straight red card but he only got a yellow and is now set to miss two games in a row through suspension.
The Sigi era starts off with a hard earned draw
Considering the previous results before he began his second stint in Los Angeles, Sigi Schmid will gladly take the clean sheet and the draw tonight against Seattle, who had won three games in a row this month. The Galaxy is in eighth place now and with games in hand over the teams above them in the Western conference so there is still plenty of time for Schmid to not only rediscover the Galaxy power of old but also get his team to a playoff spot by the time the regular season ends. He will need to address the issues the Galaxy have of winning at home but if tonight is any indication, the home side will have some steel in their backline going into the next round of fixtures.
For Seattle, a draw will be a disappointment considering how well they had played this month in the MLS. Dempsey, Lodeiro, and Morris could not gel as well as they have on previous occasions and Bruin was unable to find a way to goal as he usually does for the Sounders. Fortunately for them, the Sounders are still in fifth place and set to stay above the red line to get another run in the MLS playoffs. If they continue on to play as well as they have, and clean up their defensive mishaps, then Schmetzer's players will find themselves making another run for a second consecutive MLS Cup.