The Seattle Sounders put 10 shots on goal Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo stopped every one.
That allowed a first-half header by Alan Gordon to be the difference as the Galaxy took a 1-0 win before a sellout crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
“Their goalkeeper comes up with a ton of saves. Some hit him, some saves he makes,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We end up losing the game 1-0. I didn’t think based on our performance we deserved to lose. I thought we were as good, if not better, for large portions of the game. But that’s the way the game goes sometimes.”
Five of Seattle’s shots on goal were put there by Lamar Neagle, who moved from midfield to forward with the pregame announcement that Clint Dempsey had been left home due to a hamstring injury. Neagle set a Sounders single-game record for shots on goal without scoring.
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Seattle’s chances began in the ninth minute, when Neagle lined a header just over the crossbar. The last came in the 87th minute when Aaron Kovar fired from the middle of the penalty area, only to have Penedo smother it.
That 10th save marked the most in Penedo’s MLS career and was one short of the Galaxy (2-2-2) record.
The only shot that crossed the goal line came in the 23rd minute. Juninho sent a free kick into the area, where Omar Gonzalez out-jumped center back Brad Evans and headed the ball on to Gordon, who had beaten Andy Rose to the far post.
Gordon was a surprise starter up front, filling in for Robbie Keane, who was held out with a groin injury.
That lone goal was enough to extend the Galaxy’s unbeaten streak at StubHub Center to 25 consecutive games across all competitions.
“I think everybody is disappointed in the result,” Evans said. “But in saying that, I thought that was probably our best game this year. Sometimes soccer is that way. One chance for them in the first half — their header, we lose our mark and they’ll beat you that way.”
The Sounders fell to 2-1-2. They are still looking for their first goal from anyone other than Dempsey (three) and Obafemi Martins (three).
Club officials indicated Dempsey’s hamstring issue is not serious and that he could return Saturday when the Sounders visit Colorado.
Dempsey was left off of the U.S. national team roster that will face Mexico on Wednesday in San Antonio. However, Evans was called up. And so were former Sounder DeAndre Yedlin, who made his English Premier League debut Saturday with Tottenham, and Jordan Morris, formerly of the Sounders FC Academy and now with Stanford.