Cold reception, but a hot streak for Galaxy in Seattle
CARSON, Calif. — The same elements that have made Seattle a challenging place to play before will be in place the LA Galaxy come to town on Wednesday (10 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
A large, energetic crowd loudly supporting their beloved Sounders, who will dare the Galaxy to beat them on their artificial surface.
Those ingredients have not thwarted the Galaxy before, and players are confident in their ability to overcome once more.
"It's a game we enjoy," Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said this week. "We enjoy playing there. The big crowd is daunting for a lot of teams but I think for us, it gives us a lot of energy and we really enjoy it."
The Galaxy have had some memorable matchups there in Seattle in the past, most of them ending with wins. In fact, the Galaxy are 3-0-1 there all-time, including a win in the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2010 (above).
They thumped the Sounders 4-0 during the regular season that year as well, forcing the Sounders front office to offer issue refunds for certain tickets to their fans in the aftermath of the game.
Juninho led the Galaxy to a 1-0 win in the season opener there in 2011, extending the Galaxy's run of success against the Sounders in their own backyard.
Still, Galaxy players are not counting this match as an easy one.
"We know they're a great team and we've got to be on our game," Galaxy defender Sean Franklin said. "We've kind off had their number the last couple of years, but every game is tough and it's a new year."
Despite the Galaxy's success in the Emerald City, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena scoffed at the notion of his team having a psychological advantage.
"I don't worry about those things," Arena said. "You've got to go out there and play well. Psychology is psychology. I'm sure they feel comfortable playing at home."
Success for the Galaxy has meant surviving the initial barrage, and that likely won't change in this upcoming matchup either.
"It's all about dealing with the first 15 minutes — it's going to be loud, it's going to be crazy, they're going to come out and it's all about sustaining that and getting to our game,” Franklin said. “If we stick to our game plan which we've done the last few years playing there and also when we play them at home, it sets itself up for a win. Our team is prepared for the environment as well as the team we're playing."
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org