The return of Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle from the World Cup was enough of a reason for the Galaxy's announced sellout crowd of 27,000 to cheer.
The duo earned that applause early in a 3-1 win over Seattle on Sunday at the Home Depot Center.
Buddle connected with Donovan's corner kick in the 19th minute to head it in for the team's first goal. Immediately following the goal, Buddle ran to the sideline and embraced his World Cup teammate.
"There was a lot of energy and emotion at the beginning of the game with the big crowd," Donovan said. "We played really well with a lot of energy in the first half and then got tired. But I'm really happy to be back."
Buddle, who played just 39 minutes in the national team's four World Cup games, now leads Major League Soccer with 10 goals. Donovan's 10 assists also lead the league.
"That's the way I wanted to start," Buddle said. "I wanted to get a goal, especially coming back."
Galaxy midfielder Juninho added to the festivities in the 48th minute with his first MLS goal, a strike from 35 yards that sailed above the hands of Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller and into the left corner of the net to make the score 2-0.
Seattle (4-8-3) scored in the 66th minute when Steve Zakuani rolled a shot under the hands of goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. It was just the fifth goal the Galaxy has allowed this season.
Donovan looked set to put the game away when Alan Gordon sent a pass his way in front of the Seattle goal in the 78th minute, but Sounders defender James Riley slid to intercept the pass and knocked it in for an own goal, sealing the win for the Galaxy (11-1-3).
Buddle left the game in the 62nd minute to loud cheers; Donovan played the whole game despite his fatigue from the World Cup. Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said Donovan might stay in Los Angeles to rest while the team travels to New England on Saturday.
"If Landon was going to play his first game back from the World Cup, it's going to be in Los Angeles," Arena said. "If he needs time off, he'll get time off."