For a game that included two MVP finalists (Robbie Keane and Obafemi Martins) and class-of-the-league attacking talent like Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Gyasi Zardes — and Chad Barett — today’s Western Conference Championship first leg didn’t provide too much by way of fireworks. The Galaxy claimed a potentially crucial home shutout, winning 1-0.
In some ways it didn’t feel like a playoff game. “Feel” being a relevant advanced metric. Industry jargon. Think “Opta meets new LAFC co-owner Tony Robbins.”
For the first two-thirds of the game the stars were the goalkeepers and their respective goalposts. Seattle’s Stefan Frei, with his “Yeah, I’ve been in a knife fight” hair, and the Galaxy’s Jaime Penedo had to put their Pilates training to professional use on a few occasions.
The game’s lone goal came from Marcelo Sarvas, and even this probably would have been saved had the shot not benefited from deflection.
1-0 is a result that neither Seattle nor LA will feel too positively or negatively about. Next week’s second leg at CenturyLink Field, with both teams still having everything to play for, should give us all the highlights we hope for. Or at least another look at Frei’s hair.