LA juggernaut rolls north to face shaky Sounders

The Basics:

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

All-time record: Seattle leads the all-time series 1-0-1

TV:

What's at Stake?

Two preseason favorites to finish in the top spot of the Western Conference square off after very different starts to the season.

In-form striker Edson Buddle and undefeated Los Angeles can seemingly do no wrong, having captured 19 of a possible 21 points through seven games. Seattle, meanwhile, despite playing well at times, have suffered from defensive lapses and could use a win at home to jumpstart their season.

Last Meeting:

Sounders FC earned a 2-0 road win over the Galaxy in August 2009, with Steve Zakuani and Fredy Montero netting the goals. Seattle benefited from David Beckham’s straight red card early in the match after a studs-up challenge on Pete Vagenas.

Remember When…?

Red cards have been common in this series. In the teams’ first meeting at Qwest Field, Seattle defender James Riley was sent off for violent conduct after getting entangled with Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee. In the rematch, Eddie Lewis saw red after getting physical with Riley as the ball went out of play.

Heroes & Villains

James Riley vs. Mike Magee: No question here. Last year’s ruckus still lingers. Riley will play, but Magee, who has started four of the Galaxy’s seven matches, may not. Listen also for the Seattle fans, who have incorporated the 2009 incident into a chant about Riley. 

Kasey Keller vs. Edson Buddle: How do you stop an in-form striker? Any way you can. Only Kansas City and Colorado have managed to keep Buddle off the score sheet, but LA still managed a draw and a win in those games. The upshot? Seattle’s goalkeeper will have a busy afternoon.

Landon Donovan vs. Osvaldo Alonso: All the Buddle hype might entice someone to for forget about Donovan. Big mistake. He’s been the trigger man for Los Angeles, notching six assists so far. Seattle’s defensive midfielder has the unenviable task of containing him.

Stat That Makes You Go “Hmm ...”:

Zero: MLS goals in 2010 for Donovan.

He Said It:

“For us, our goal this weekend is we would like to be in second place when we come out of this weekend. The results last night with Colorado losing at home, with Houston losing at home playing a man up, it keeps them stuck at ten points and I think we are all even on games now,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid.