Juninho will now forever be the answer to the trivia question: Who scored the first goal of the 2011 MLS season. It turned out that second half goal was all the Los Angeles Galaxy needed, as the team escaped Quest Field with a 1-0 victory and three points to begin the season. Normally the turf in Seattle result in a very quick and open game, which in some ways it was, but the added complication of a rain storm made conditions at kick off quite daunting. The sellout crowd was loud, as was expected, but in the end, they couldn’t will their team to a goal; a team which must be getting frustrated after repeated loses to the Galaxy.
While Pereira Junior’s goal from well outside the box ultimately decided the match, it was the play of Josh Saunders, filling in for the injured Donovan Ricketts, which held the day for Los Angeles. He made several brilliant saves, and with five Sounder shots from inside the box, those saves were crucial. Steve Zakuani of Seattle also had some great wing play, but Seattle’s finishing was noticeably lacking.
The Galaxy now face New England Revolution on Sunday, in the home opener for the club. Seattle get an even shorter break, heading to New York to take on the Red Bulls on Saturday.