Bruce Arena stayed true to his word, using something close to a first-choice lineup in Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal at Seattle -- one that included Landon Donovan, Juninho and three regular backliners.
No matter. The Galaxy's bid for one trophy this season is over, victim to a slow start that sent the Sounders toward a 3-1 triumph in front of a capacity crowd at Starfire Sports Compex in Tukwila, Wash.
Nate Jaqua scored in the fourth minute and Fredy Montero made it 2-0 after a giveaway by A.J. DeLaGarza in the 25th as the Sounders dominated early play on the tight field in front of their rabid fan base.
Adam Cristman headed home a fine Chris Birchall cross just before halftime to halve the Galaxy's deficit, but Lamar Neagle scored a third for Seattle in the 73rd, and Arena immediately pulled Donovan (who won another Best MLS Player honor at the ESPYs on Wednesday night) and Juninho. It was done.
The Sounders, who have won the past two Open Cup titles, will be home against FC Dallas in an Aug. 30 semifinal. The Chicago Fire meets the Richmond Kickers, from the third-tier USL Pro, in the other semi.
DeLaGarza, who missed the Galaxy's MLS victory last weekend over Chicago after he was kicked in the head by Montero during a Fourth of July league meeting, made his return to the lineup, paired with Gregg Berhalter in central defense.
Seattle has been home for 14 of 19 Open Cup games the last four years and has won or advanced on penalties in all but one of those home games. The Sounders are 9-0-1 in Tukwila during that stretch, with successive quarterfinal triumphs over the Galaxy.
Seattle might have scored a half-dozen goals before L.A. tallied, with Jaqua unfortunate not to nab a hat trick. His header at the start followed another that just missed the target, and he had the assist on Montero's strike from the top of the box.
Starfire Sports Complex (Tukwila, Wash.)
Seattle Sounders 3, Galaxy 1
S -- Nate Jaqua (Pat Noonan) 4
S -- Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua) 25
LA -- Adam Cristman (Chris Birchall) 40
S -- Lamar Neagle (Alvaro Fernandez) 74
Seattle Sounders: Terry Boss; Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez; Osvaldo Alonso; Lamar Neagle, Alvaro Fernandez, Pat Noonan (Erik Friberg, 64); Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito, 79), Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque, 71).
Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Bryan Jordan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant; Chris Birchall, Michael Stephens, Juninho (Jovan Kirovski, 78), Landon Donovan (Hector Jimenez, 75); Adam Cristman, Paolo Cardozo (Miguel Lopez, 64). Unused subs: Juan Pablo Angel, Kyle Davies, Brian Perk.
Yellow cards: Alonso 22, Montero 54, Parke 55, Cardozo 60, Fucito 90.
Referee: Kevin Stott. Att.: 4,322.
Semifinals (Aug. 30)
Richmond Kickers (USL Pro) at Chicago Fire (MLS), 5:30 p.m.
FC Dallas (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (MLS), 7 p.m.
Note: Final is Oct. 4