Rave Green gun for 2nd seed in the west
It’s the last match of the season, and there’s still something in it for the Sounders. A win at LA this Sunday night gives Sigi and his boys the 2nd seed that they have long pursued. It will also silence some of the naysayers about this Seattle team.
Kickoff: 6:00PM PST at the Home Depot Center
SEA: 15-7-11 (4-3-9 V)
LAG: 15-12-6 (9-6-1 H)
You may ask: “Why is the 2nd seed important, if the Sounders already know they’ll be playing a home and away tie in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs?” Great question. The 2nd seed matters because it will give Seattle a better chance at home field advantage in the MLS Cup finals. It also puts them in a decent position to get a CONCACAF Champions League birth.
Expect the Sounders to take this one seriously.
In the first 3 seasons of Seattle’s MLS existence, LA was the perpetual thorn in their side. Matches seemed to always result in a loss. The worst of these was the infamous 4-0 loss to the Galaxy at home in 2010 that resulted in refunds for season ticket holders.
The balance of power has begun to shift. Seattle won both fixtures so far this year (both played in the comfortable confines of CenturyLink Field). The Galaxy put together a consistent second half to get into the playoffs, but they have begun to show their age. The Sounders meanwhile have a young and vibrant core led by a few wiley veterans.
Let’s take a look at the status of both teams heading into the match.
Los Angeles Galaxy
Shocking news graced the cover of soccer sites this week. Landon Donovan announced that he’s considering retirement at the ripe old age of 30.
His apparent lack of motivation to continue playing would make me nervous if I was a Galaxy fan.
Both Donovan and David Beckham are coming off injuries. Reports say they’ll be ready to go, but you can expect Bruce Arena to be careful with both of them. The match won’t affect LA’s playoff seeding so they have little motivation to push their two stars too hard. LA needs both of them more in the playoffs.
Seattle Sounders FC
The Sounders played a complete game last weekend against Dallas. The match was full of promising signs for any Seattle fan looking towards the playoffs:
- Fredy Montero as architect: Montero’s deft play led to Brad Evan’s PK goal, his quick thinking helped set up the second, and he set up the third. The Colombian’s activity off of the ball was equally impressive.
- Passing on display: Possession, possession, possession. The Sounders had numerous long periods of possession highlighted by accurate passing that vexed Dallas players.
- Dynamic midfield play: The midfield of Brad Evans, Christian Tiffert, Osvaldo Alonso, and Mauro Rosales is gelling at the right time. Sounders fans are salivating over what they could do in the playoffs.
Seattle needs to do nothing more than continue this typeof dynamic play on Sunday to secure the 2nd place in the west.
Matchup to watch: Christian Tiffert vs. David Beckham
Tiffert and Beckham both feature dynamic and accurate passing as important parts of the game. Their play will determine who controls the midfield. David Beckham is just coming off of injury while Christian Tiffert is healthy and hungry. I’m looking forward to watching the Englishman and the German duel.
The Sounders only have 4 wins away from home this year, but they are on a roll lately. I expect this match to be hard fought, but end in a Seattle victory that gives them momentum heading into the playoff.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 — Los Angeles Galaxy
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