LA GALAXY vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
May 26, 2013 (WEEK 13, MLS Game #121)
8 p.m. PT (ESPN2/Deportes)
LIVE CHAT on MLSsoccer.com
Western Conference Championship foes a season ago, the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC meet for the first time this season when the clubs face off Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center before an ESPN2 audience. The Galaxy return home off an Eastern trip that ended with a dramatic 1-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls last weekend. Sounders FC have been in rampant form, scoring four goals in each of their last two matches, coming off a 4-2 home win against West leaders FC Dallas.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Baboucarr Jallow; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 152 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 50; pens: 58
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Josh Ford
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Marcelo Sarvas … SEA: Eddie Johnson
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: LA: Oscar Sorto (U.S. U-20)
ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Galaxy 4 wins, 10 goals … Sounders FC 3 wins, 10 goals … Ties 2
AT LA (4 meetings): Galaxy 2 wins, 4 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 9/21: LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m. PT (NBCSN); 10/27: Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, 6 p.m. PT (ESPN)
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/2: SEA 2, LA 0 (Johnson 40; Montero 48)
8/5: SEA 4, LA 0 (Johnson 6; Montero 52; Caskey 61; Rose 88)
10/28: LA 1, SEA 0 (Magee 83)
• The teams met a year ago in the Western Conference Championship, the Galaxy winning 4-2 on aggregate, including a 3-0 win at The Home Depot Center in the first leg.
• Sounders FC won the first two league meetings last year in impressive fashion, their first wins in the all-time series since 2009, before the Galaxy won the regular season finale in Carson.
• Sounders FC haven’t scored vs. the Galaxy in their last three meetings at The Home Depot Center in league and MLS Cup play.
• Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. SEA: P9 W4 L3 D2 … Sigi Schmid vs. LA: P15 W6 L5 D4
The LA Galaxy concluded their two-game East Coast trip with a dramatic loss, the New York Red Bulls getting the only goal of the game in stoppage time for a victory Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. The Galaxy are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 17 points from 11 matches.
• The game's lone goal came after the 90-minute mark had come and gone. Juninho flighted in a free kick from out on the left of goal and Tim Cahill nodded it home from inside the six-yard box with goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini rooted to his line for the match-winner.
• Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles made two saves in keeping the clean sheet.
Highlights: NY 1, LA 0
• Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that rolled to a 4-1 victory against Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Sean Franklin came back into the back four for Tommy Meyer, and Hector Jimenez started in midfield in place of Mike Magee.
• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Greg Cochrane 83), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho (Rafael Garcia 10), Landon Donovan - Jose Villarreal (Gyasi Zardes 61), Robbie Keane.
• The Galaxy return home following a three-game road trip where they suffered losses to Vancouver and New York around a win against Philadelphia. The Galaxy have lost three of their last four games.
• “That's a real good effort,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We played pretty well for the third game in a week traveling all over the country. I’m disappointed for our players, because we certainly played well enough to get out of here with a point.”
• The Galaxy have now allowed six goals in the final quarter-hour of league matches, tied for second-most in MLS (with New England and D.C. United, behind Chivas USA’s eight). Over all competitions, the Galaxy have conceded seven goals from the 80th minute onward.
• “That's not good. That play tonight can't happen,” Arena said. “That’s 90 percent goalkeeper ball there. You saw that goal. We had plays the other way to get a goal, too. ... You have to make a play. They made a play, we didn't – that's the difference in the game. That game should be one point.”
• Said goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini: “Every time you concede a goal, you can do different things. But, of course, it's disappointing because I don't think we deserved to lose. I think we had actually had the better chances, but in the end we go home with zero points.”
• The Galaxy were also shut out on the offensive end for the second time in four games, and third time this season.
• Rafael Garcia played 80 minutes after coming on for Juninho, who was forced to depart the match very early with a shin injury. Garcia had made four appearances totaling just 25 minutes before the New York match.
• “It’s tough to come into a game that early when you’re not really ready. Rafa did OK,” said Landon Donovan. “It’s a tough game to come into, it’s fast against two really good midfielders and he held his own pretty well. We’re going to have to do that throughout the year. There’s going to be guys missing, so we’re going to have to have guys step in and do the job.”
• Although Jose Villarreal was called into the U.S. U-20 national team for the Toulon tournament in France, he will not join the team before the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which runs from June 21 to July 13. Oscar Sorto has been called into the team for the Toulon event.
• “I think the world championship for the young players, we think that's important,” Arena said. “In the case of Oscar, Oscar isn't playing at all with us; we can let him go. Jose's been in our team, we're going to hold him back as long as necessary.”
• In addition, Robbie Keane will now join the Republic of Ireland national team for friendlies against England and Georgia. He'll also be available for Ireland's home World Cup qualifier against Faroe Islands and a June 12 friendly against Spain in New York.
• “In reflecting over it, I think if we're requested to release U.S. players, then how can we not allow other internationals to go,” Arena said. “We're allowing U.S. players to play in friendlies, then we have to do [this]. It creates an awkward situation, but it's fair.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC extended their unbeaten run to six games with another impressive attacking display, defeating FC Dallas 4-2 on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 15 points from 10 matches.
• Sounders FC opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso won a header at midfield that sailed back over the Dallas defense and sent it forward where Eddie Johnson outmuscled a defender before hitting a half-volley past FCD 'keeper Raul Fernandez.
• It was 2-0 in the 30th minute. This time Brad Evans played set-up man with a through ball to Lamar Neagle, who timed his run perfectly. He ran in free on goal, rounded Fernandez and slid the ball into an empty net.
• Behind some brilliant set-piece work from Michel, FC Dallas pulled level. In the 54th minute, he served a perfectly placed freekick from the right side that an unmarked Kenny Cooper easily headed home from the heart of the area.
• Seven minutes later, Michel pulled off one of the rarest feats in the game, an "olimpico," whipping a corner kick up and over the outstretched arms of Gspurning and into the far side netting.
• But less than a minute later, Sounders FC re-took the lead. Neagle cut across the top of the Dallas area and slid a clever pass through to Johnson, and he calmly dribbled around Fernandez and struck home for his second goal of the night.
• FC Dallas went a man down when Blas Perez was shown a red card by referee Mark Geiger for a stray elbow in the 72nd minute that opened a gash in defender Leo Gonzalez's face.
Highlights: SEA 4, DAL 2
• Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made two changes to the team that rolled to a 4-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado came back into the team for Zach Scott, and Mario Martinez came into midfield in place of Mauro Rosales.
• SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (Zach Scott 78) - Brad Evans, Servando Carrasco, Osvaldo Alonso (Shalrie Joseph 31), Mario Martinez (Obafemi Martins 63) - Lamar Neagle, Eddie Johnson.
• Sounders FC have scored four goals in back-to-back games for the first time in club history following the victory Saturday against Western Conference leaders FC Dallas.
• “Being able to measure ourselves against a first place team in our conference is important. Being able to show that once our weapons are healthy that we can score goals on the offensive end was another important factor, as well,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “We're trying to use the abilities of the guys we have. We're using our speed so we're attacking a little more direct. We also knew this was a team that we could be direct against-we could get behind them centrally and we did that often in the first half.”
• Eddie Johnson scored twice, his ninth career two-goal game, taking over the Sounders FC team lead with four goals on the season.
• “Certainly I think with the emergence of Lamar right now, with Eddie playing as he's playing right now, with Obafemi coming in … we're a handful up front,” said Schmid. “If you're center backs and you lose sight of our forwards for a second, they're going to be running behind you.”
• Lamar Neagle added his third goal of the season – all over the last two matches since returning to the lineup.
• “I think our forwards are running off of each other really well,” Schmid said. “You see Neagle and Eddie up front, they are playing combinations off of each other. One is showing and one is going, and you know the other is getting back in there if the ball goes past them. Same thing when Oba comes in. The two forwards playing off each other, our defense knows they are going to run and so our defense now [can] stretch the defense and play balls in behind.”
• For a second consecutive match, Obafemi Martins came off the bench and added the capping goal. He now has three goals in his last three MLS appearances.
• “That's what we expected when we signed Obafemi, to combine with the players that we have and we know that teams like to push their outside backs forward and they leave themselves two-v-two and we feel that we have forwards who can definitely exploit that,” Schmid said.
• Brad Evans collected two assists, his first two of the season and the first two-assist of his MLS career in league play.
• “Brad is always part of our offense just because his instincts are pretty good,” Schmid said. “If anything sometimes I try to rein him back a little bit because sometimes he likes to get forward too much or run too much and we need him back helping us to defend. ... He has done different things for us and he got two good assists for tonight, so I was very pleased with his game.”
• There were some injury concerns coming out of the match. Leo Gonzalez had to come off after being bloodied in the red card incident with Blas Perez, and Osvaldo Alonso was forced after just 30 minutes with a left adductor strain.
• “This weekend, probably not very likely (that Alonso is available). There's a chance against Chivas, and then we have to go day-by-day as we get through and move forward this week,” said Schmid. “The MRI showed there's no extreme pull or strain, but it is what we thought it was.”