SEATTLE, Wash.— Seattle Sounders FC (4-2-2) and LA Galaxy (1-1-6) played for the first time at Seattle’s Qwest Field home ground. The 1-1 tie won’t be remembered for the goals scored but for the nine cards issued by referee Tim Weyland.
Sounders FC forward Sebastien Le Toux, playing in place of the suspended Fredy Montero, scored his first MLS goal in the 22nd minute. The former USL MVP netted two goals in US Open Cup competition.
The Galaxy answered in the 35th minute with
forward Alan Gordon’s equalizing second goal of the year. Gordon didn’t dwell on breaking Seattle
‘keeper Kasey Keller’s scoreless streak at home.
“I think it is bitter sweet,” Gordon said of his goal and the 1-1 tie. “It is good to get a point on the road especially, but the situation like this, we need to get three points. When we go up a man, the advantage goes to us and we have to start getting wins.”
Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid wasn’t pleased with the officiating. He didn’t mince any words in expressing his opinion of the referee in his post-game press conference.
“It was our free kick and Gregg Berhalter picked up ball.” Schmid said of the incident where Riley was booked. “I guess (Berhalter) thought it was his free kick. I don’t know. Maybe he was momentarily confused or dazed and the referee was confused and dazed. There ended up being a melee and a scrum.”
Schmid gave his version of Weyland’s decision to give Riley a red card on top of his yellow. “The assistant referee told the referee that in his estimation it was a red or violent conduct. The other ref told him something, but he chose to ignore that piece of advice. I’ll let you draw judgments on the refereeing.”
An earlier incident involving Sounders forward Nate Jaqua, who appeared to be fouled and taken down in the Galaxy penalty area, also drew the ire of Schmid. “That one I did see on replay and certainly did look like it could have been should have been, maybe.”
Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter, who was in the middle of the fray, said, “They called the foul on me. He (Riley) threw me to the ground. He slapped Mike (Magee) on the head. Overall, it was a justified red card.”
US National Team star and LA forward Landon Donovan felt that fatigue took its toll in the second half. He said, “I think we got tired. We got lazy. Stopped wanting the ball.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena echoed Donovan’s disappointment and said, “We are a tired team and this is the third game in about 8 days, two on the road.”
“That is the way the game should be, it was hard and it was fun,” said Donovan of the physical match. “The game was mostly fair and it was an intense game. We enjoy in playing in games like this.”
Donovan also commented on the atmosphere at Qwest Field.
“I have heard from almost every team that has played here and have had awesome things about this place,” Donovan said.” “I have played here with the national team a few times and it has been great both times and today didn’t disappoint.”
John Zielonka is the Goal.com correspondent in Seattle
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