By Money Mike
The Seattle Sounders head down to the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, not only to keep their 3 game winning streak alive, but also to put an end to a 5 game losing skid against their opponents, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Last week, the Sounders finished off the month of June with a 2-1 win at home against the New England Revolution, their 3 game win streak has put them a step closer from 1st place in the Western Conference. As of right now, the Sounders are 4 points back of the Galaxy for 1st place and are 3 behind FC Dallas for 2nd place after Dallas defeated the Columbus Crew 2-0 last night. The Galaxy are coming off a 0-0 draw to the San Jose Earthquakes but they lost starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to an ulna fracture on his left arm, and backup goalkeeper Josh Saunders after he picked up a red card in that same game. These two teams met in the season opener in Seattle on March 16, where the Sounders had loads of chances, but the lone goal by Juninho and great goalkeeping by Josh Saunders prooved to be the story in LA's 1-0 win. Main focus for this one is who Sigi Schmid will start up front and what his plan to shut down LA's attack is.
Seattle Sounders FC - For the Seattle Sounders, well it's been tough for them, two months now without Steve Zakuani and O'Brian White. White is currently working his way back to full fitness. Sigi said that he's expected to start practicing with the first team after this match. There's a chance O'Brian White will be back for the rivalry match in Portland next Sunday, if not, the Sounders next home match on the 16th against the Colorado Rapids. Fredy Montero missed the last match on Sunday with a quad strain, as of right now, he's listed as probable. My fingers are crossed, hoping he'll play in this match. Brad Evans has been missing for quite a while as well with a strained hammy. He's also listed as probable.
Los Angeles Galaxy - For LA, Defenders Sean Alvarado and Leonardo are out with Right knee surgery. And as I said earlier, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has a fractured ulna on his left arm and is out. David Beckham, who fucked up a Royal Wedding about a month ago, has back spasms and is listed as questionable. From what I'm hearing, he's not going to play tomorrow. And finally, Frankie Hejduk is listed as questionable with inflammation on his right ankle.
There's only one player suspended for this match and that is LA's backup goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who did very well against us in the 1st match of the season. So now all the Galaxy have is their #3 goalkeeper Brian Perk who played 1 game for PDL Club Seattle Wolves in 2009. My guess is the Galaxy will bring in Kevin Guppy who is under contract with the MLS League-Wide reserve goalkeeper pool.
Alvaro Fernandez vs Sean Franklin - Keep an eye on this matchup on the left wing with Fernandez who has been involved in a lot more attacking plays lately and scored last week. He's going to go up against Sean Franklin who has been a brick wall for left sided midfielders and is also an attacking option for Los Angeles.
Landon Donovan vs James Riley - Landon Donovan is making his return to the Galaxy after USA's disappointing 4-2 loss in the Gold Cup final to Mexico. I think Bruce Arena will put him at left midfield which would set up a matchup with him and James Riley. Right now this matchup would favor Donovan.