[MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: Seattle-Los Angeles] For the second year in a row, the Los Angeles Galaxy will host the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup, prevailing over the
Seattle Sounders 4-2 on aggregate after a 2-1 loss in Seattle. A disputed penalty kick that Robbie Keane converted in the 68th minute sealed the series victory
for the Galaxy, while the Sounders were left to ponder what might have been ...
-- For the second year in a row, the Sounders dug themselves out of which they could not get out. Last year, a 2-0 win at home was not enough to overcome a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the conference semifinals. Seattle clawed back from 3-0 down on goals by Eddie Johnson and Zach Scott early in both halves. But Adam Johansson was called for a handball in the area, setting up Keane's fifth goal of the playoffs.
-- "I thought it was a harsh call," said Seattle coach Sigi Schmid, "because there was nobody in the box, he wasn't passing it to anybody, all Keane was looking to do was maybe draw a penalty and hit it into his hand. He's a clever player, and he did well, but on the same token it's like an intentional hand ball is taking away an opportunity, what opportunity was there? There was no opportunity, he just purposely, clever move on his part." Schmid said the call was particularly harsh because Seattle thought it should have had a penalty in the first leg for a Sean Franklin handball.
-- The Sounders also felt aggrieved by referee Mark Geiger's decision to not allow a goal scored by Johnson a minute before he opened the scoring. The Seattle forward was called for offside, though replays showed he was onside.
-- Cuban midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was issued his second yellow card by Geiger after the game for dissent and red carded.
-- Galaxy star Landon Donovan, who has been plagued by injuries all season and left the first leg with tightness in his hamstring, did not dress for Sunday's game. He had not trained all week.
-- MLS Cup 2012 on Dec. 1 will be the first final that is not played at a predetermined site. The only chance of chance of the Galaxy hosting MLS Cup 2012 as the No. 4 seed with 54 points was that Houston, the No. 5 seed with only 53 points, win the Eastern Conference.
-- The verdict in the Los Angeles-Seattle series meant that the home teams in the second leg of all six two-game series lost.
-- Sunday's crowd of 44,575 in Seattle was the largest attendance for a non-final postseason match, and the sixth largest postseason attendance in MLS history.
Nov. 18 in Seattle
Seattle 2 Los Angeles 1. Goals: Johnson (Scott) 12, Scott (Tiffert) 57; Keane (pen.) 68.
Seattle -- Gspurning, Scott, Hurtado, Johansson (Martinez, 74), Parke, Evans, Tiffert, Alonso, Zakuani (Rosales, 82), Johnson, Montero (Estrada, 73).
Los Angeles -- Saunders, Franklin, Gonzalez, Meyer, Dunivant, Beckham, Magee, Wilhelmsson (Juninho, 62), Sarvas, Buddle (Stephens, 84), Keane.
Red Card: Seattle -- Alonso 94+.
Referee: Mark Geiger.