CARSON - The Los Angeles Galaxy held on to their 1-0 victory Sunday evening over the Seattle Sounders at The Home Depot Center.
But just barely.
It looked like the Sounders tied the match in the final seconds as midfielder Brad Evans put the ball past Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders and into the net.
However, the goal was called off when a hand ball against Evans' teammate Fredy Montero barely preceded the disallowed goal.
And with the Galaxy getting the chance to start defending their 2011 MLS Cup Title this Thursday at home as the Vancouver Whitecaps come to town for a one-game knockout round, coach Bruce Arena was very happy with the game's outcome.
"That was a real good game," Arena said. "To come out on top was terrific. As we enter the playoffs, if we have any aspirations of defending our (title), we'll have to use (these) players. We accomplished that this week. That's an important aspiration for our team."
Arena added the win was huge as Seattle is the third seed in the Western Conference postseason, while the Galaxy took fourth.
"We played tonight against one of the best teams in the league, so coming out 1-0 is not the worst result in the world," he said.
In addition, Arena said the team will be there when the whistle starts play against Vancouver.
"There's no excuse for our team not to be ready on Thursday," he said. "We should come out and be in pretty good position. We were at the bottom of the league back in June and we've come a long way."
The Galaxy scored in the 83rd minute when midfielder Mike Magee, who was inside the Sounder penalty box, took a pass from teammate Robbie Keane and left-footed the ball from right to left past diving Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
The Galaxy almost scored in the 53rd minute when midfielder David Beckham shot the ball from about 15 yards out, but it hit the crossbar untouched and bounced away.
Along with Arena, defender Sean Franklin was very happy with the victory.
"We wanted to finish the regular season with a win and three points," Franklin said. "It's all about moving forward and go into this knockout match, winning and moving forward."
As far as Vancouver goes, Franklin had this to say: "They got speed up top and in the middle. They're a good team, much better than they were earlier in the year, and it should be a good match. It's win or go home."
(Shel Segal can be reached at
and followed via Twitter @segallanded.)