Sounders FC flew out of Los Angeles on Tuesday with some ambivalence.
On one hand, the Sounders went onto the sold-out home stadium of the top team in Major League Soccer and came away with a point in the standings.
On the other, they realize they had chances for more, especially facing a third-string goalkeeper in his MLS debut. And that frustration only increased because Brian Perk knocked away a Fredy Montero penalty kick that might have sent the Sounders home with a victory.
“Sure we could have gotten more out of it,” Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. “They had some good chances as well. Yeah, it’s frustrating. … But it’s much better than how we have played them the last three or four times, so on that side we feel good. They are a good team; they have the most points in the league. There is a reason for that, and we came here and gave them a good game.”
The Sounders’ best chance came in the 18th minute when Montero took a penalty kick following a handball in the box by L.A. defender Omar Gonzalez. Montero shot low but just a few feet to the side of Perk, who knocked it away.
“I guessed the right way,” Perk said. “I was very fortunate, but it worked out. I’d seen (Montero) play before, and I thought he was crafty player and tried to show me one way and go another, and that’s what he did.”
Montero didn’t have much to add.
“I tried shooting it close to the post, but I shot it short, and he guessed right and blocked it,” he said.
The Sounders are off today. They will return to training Thursday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Their next game is at 1 p.m. Sunday at Portland.
Then the Sounders and Galaxy will meet again July 13 in a quarterfinal match of the U.S. Open Cup at Starfire Sports Stadium.
The Sounders reserves, behind goals rom Nate Jaqua and Lamar Neagle, moved their record to 7-0 Tuesday with a 2-1 win over the Galaxy reserves in Carson, Calif. … New York midfielder Joel Lindpere was selected MLS player of the week after scoring both goals in the Red Bulls’ come-from-behind draw against San Jose.
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Sounders FC at Portland Timbers, 1 p.m. Sunday, ESPN, 97.3-FM