MLS First Kick 2011, Seattle Sounders Vs. L.A. Galaxy: Juninho Scores Only Goal In 1-0 Galaxy Win

nd so the Seattle Sounders run of starting the season with a win comes to an end tonight against Los Angeles Galaxy, with a 1-0 loss to the visitors. This is the third time in their three MLS seasons that the Sounders have hosted First Kick, and the first time the Sounders have lost. But more significantly for the home team, Seattle appears to have completely lost the plot. Their play was a sloppy array of mis-placed passes interspersed with a marked inability to finish in front of goal.

Of course, it was always going to be a tough night for Seattle. Just prior to kickoff, the Sounders announced that forward Blaise Nkufo had left the club, leaving O'Brian White to immediately step in to fill his boots. Although the shape did not change, making such a significant change on the day of the game was always likely to have a negative effect. Add to that the fact that White completely wasted three chances, including one in the 24th minute in which just a mere touch would have knocked the ball inside the net.

Erik Friberg, signed in the offseason, was a bright spot for the Seattle midfield, even sending in a shot that went just wide. On the other end, just before the whistle blew for halftime, David Beckham earned a free kick about 35 yards out. The venerable Galaxy man sent in an almost perfect kick, with it just grazing the top of the net.

The second half brought the only goal, scored by Juninho in the 58th minute. Friberg gave away the ball in midfield, with Todd Dunivant coming through to intercept. He took the ball up the left flank before passing it on to Juninho. Kasey Keller dove but could only get a hand on the ball, unable to avoid it heading into the back of the net.

The rest of the match brought more of the same, with Seattle attacking but failing to capitalize on their chances. The home side were also completely ineffectual from set pieces, often failing to beat the first man -- or even, on one occasion, sending the ball straight out of play. It's just one game, of course, but fans will be hoping that Seattle manage to pull themselves together in time for the visit to New York Red Bulls.

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