Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sounders return home for a midweek match against the Los Angeles Galaxy

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders get set for a midweek match as the defending MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy come to town in their first of two visits to Seattle this season. The Galaxy have struggled so far in the early part of the season and are currently 7th in the Western Conference with 10 points, although they are unbeaten in their last three matches. Perhaps his is the opportunity for the Sounders to finally get a home win over LA in MLS play. LA has won three straight matches against Seattle at CenturyLink Field including the playoffs and are 5-1-2 against the Sounders in League play. This is the first of eight matches in all competitions this month for the Sounders.

Last time these two met in league play was back on the 4th of July. Despite settling for only a draw, the Sounders did manage to snap a five game losing streak against the Galaxy in league play. Not the way they would've wanted to though. In the first half of that match, Fredy Montero missed a penalty kick opportunity. That was the team who conceded only 28 goals last season, which is the fewest MLS, and went on to win the Cup. This is not the same LA team as last years. This years LA team has already conceded 11 goals and are struggling to find an answer to their defensive problems after losing Omar Gonzalez to a possible season ending ACL injury that he suffered during his loan stint to 1. FC Nuremberg back in January. They went with their first round pick Tommy Meyer at the start of the season, that didn't quite go well. Then they started Andrew Boyans, that didn't work and now he's back on the bench. Now I understand a few weeks ago, they traded Paolo Cardozo to their arch rivals Chivas USA for David Lopes and he has started the last three matches since, but it just shows you how big that loss to Omar Gonzalez hurt LA's backline. Also, the fact that Josh Saunders may miss this match could put the Galaxy under a lot of pressure.

Injury report:

Los Angeles Galaxy - For the Galaxy, Omar Gonzalez as I mentioned is out with a torn ACL. Leonardo is close to making his return from right knee sergery, but he will not feature in the match tomorrow. Brian Perk who is their no. 3 goalkeeper is listed as questionable after he had sports hernia sergery. That could be a problem because they already have Josh Saunders out as well. Also, David Beckham may or may not play tomorrow as head coach Bruce Arena admitted he is not in the condition to play three games in one week.

Seattle Sounders - For the Sounders, Josh Ford, Michael Tetteh, Andrew Weber, Steve Zakuani and Babayele Sodade are out. Alvaro Fernandez has missed the last two matches with a right quad strain. Right now, he is listed as doubtful. Patrick Ianni is dealing with low back pain and is listed as questionable. Lastly, Mauro Rosales suffered a right foot contusion last match against Chicago, but I don't think that'll keep him out. He's listed as probable.

Key to the match:

I think the key here is to get forward and put a lot of pressure on the LA backline as well as backup goalkeeper Bill Gaudette in the early minutes. That's usually been my key every game, but three straight losses at home against the Galaxy in MLS play? Time to put an end to it, no excuses. Get forward, put the defense in an uncomforable situation. With the struggles the Galaxy have had, perhaps this is where Seattle can do some damage.

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