The Seattle Sounders clinched a playoff spot while simultaneously making the Galaxy’s path to the playoffs a lot tougher.
Seattle’s Cristian Roldan scored in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time, sealing a heartbreaking 2-1 loss for the LA Galaxy (8-12-11, 13th place) on the road against the Sounders.
LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney expressed his thoughts on the deciding play of the game, “The gut punch in the end is that the last play of the game… it goes out for the throw-in. I’m not so sure it’s even their throw, but I tried to watch the replay, and it wasn’t clear,” he said.
Both Seattle goals came on set pieces, a bit of an Achilles heel for the Galaxy this season.
The first, Jordan Morris headed in a corner kick to put Seattle ahead early. Despite getting outplayed in the first half, where the Sounders out-shot the Galaxy 10-1, LA weathered the storm and kept the game in reach heading into the break trailing by a goal.
The Galaxy equalized to start the second half, after Douglas Costa scored his second goal in as many games, stepping up in the absence of Riqui Puig, who missed his second straight due to an ankle injury.
Then in the closing moments of stoppage time, Seattle lined up for one last set piece.
Roldan scored the winner after the throw-in, sealing the victory and a playoff berth for the Sounders in the process.
Despite the tough loss, the Galaxy remain focused on the playoff picture. Vanney emphasized the need to execute every play over the course of the game.
Jonathan Bond reflected on the backline’s performance, highlighting the need to improve ball management and decision-making in high-pressure situations.
Looking ahead to the next match against Minnesota, the Galaxy are taking things one day at a time, with Bond stating, “We just had to focus on the next game and win that and then focus on the next one, make that as simple as we can.”
The Galaxy recognize the challenging path ahead, but are committed to giving their all to secure a playoff spot. Kelvin Leerdam shared his perspective, “We know what we have to do, nine points. With everything still to play for.”
The Galaxy now set their sights on a road match with Minnesota United on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and can be streamed on AppleTV.