Seattle Sounders: Five Observations Ahead of L.A. Galaxy Clash
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Revenge will be on the Seattle Sounders minds, as they take on the Los Angeles Galaxy at the StubHub Center. The Sounders had to watch today’s opponents celebrate winning the Western Conference on the CenturyLink Field turf last November.
Making matters even worse, Seattle didn’t technically lose the two-legged tie, instead going out in the cruelest of circumstances, on the away-goals rule, which was only installed last season. Here are five things to considers ahead of the clash:
1) One of the biggest concerns for the Sounders entering this game, is the likelihood that Clint Dempsey will be missing due to ongoing issues with his right hamstring. The American is responsible for exactly half of Seattle’s six goals so far this season, with Obafemi Martins scoring the other three.
2) The most intriguing clash of the day could come between Sounders right back Tyrone Mears and Jose Villarreal of the Galaxy. Mears has been a revelation so far in Seattle, helping the team to three clean sheets in four games, while Los Angeles’ homegrown player leads the team with two assists in four appearances.
3) Since the Sounders entered the league in 2009, they have the second-best overall record in MLS, standing at 96-55-49. The only team with a better showing is – you’ve guessed it – the Galaxy, who have gone 98-50-53.
4) The two teams – who will meet three times in 2015 – managed a win apiece and a tie in their three regular season games last season. Overall, the Galaxy have won six of the 15 regular season fixtures, with the Sounders managing four victories.
(Los Angeles has scored 21 goals, compared to 16 by Seattle.)
Nov 30, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Alan Gordon (far right) hugs teammate Los Angeles Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers (14) as Seattle Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall (14) walks away after the final whistle of the Western Conference Championship at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
5) Matters have been a bit more one-sided when the two teams meet in the playoffs. In three series, the Galaxy have emerged victorious every time, winning four games compared to two by the Sounders.
(Los Angeles has scored nine goals over the six playoff games, compared to five by Seattle.)
Prediction: The Galaxy are not off to the best of starts this season, winning just one of their first five games this season. However, it’s still early days and they always seem to get up to play the Sounders, especially when it is in Los Angeles.
Dempsey will be sorely missed by Seattle, but the improved defence and return of Osvaldo Alonso should make up for his absence. I know this will sound like I’m sitting on the fence, but I’m predicting a 1-1 tie.