SEATTLE SOUNDERS vs. LA GALAXY
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
July 28, 2014 (WEEK 21, MLS Game #186) / 7 p.m. PT (ESPN2/ESPN Depotes; TSN2)
One of the high-profile matches of the MLS calendar is ahead on Monday evening when Seattle Sounders FC play host to the LA Galaxy on Monday evening at CenturyLink Field before an ESPN2 audience. Sounders FC sit atop the Western Conference and MLS overall table, returning to league play after extending their home winning streak with a 2-0 win against the Portland Timbers two weeks ago. The Galaxy saw their eight-game undefeated streak come to an end in their last MLS contest, a 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City last weekend.
REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Bill Dittmar; AR2 (opposite): Baboucarr Jallow; 4th: Juan Guzman
Grajeda's MLS Career: 110 games; FC/gm: 24.2; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 18; pens: 18
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: Dan Gargan
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Sounders FC 3 wins, 12 goals ... Galaxy 5 wins, 16 goals ... Ties 4
AT SEATTLE (6 meetings): Sounders FC 2 wins, 8 goals ... Galaxy 2 wins, 7 goals ... Ties 2
RETURN MATCHES: 10/19: LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 8:30 p.m. PT; 10/25: Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, 11:30 a.m.
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/26: LA 4, SEA 0 (Franklin 12; Keane 24, 34, 44)
9/21: LA 1, SEA 1 (Juninho 47+ -- Johnson 25)
10/27: SEA 1, LA 1 (Dempsey 30 ñ Keane 78)
- When the teams played to a 1-1 draw last Sept. 21 at StubHub Center, Sounders FC scored for the first time vs. the Galaxy in five meetings in Carson in league and MLS Cup play, since the 2010 season.
- The Galaxy last won in Seattle in 2011, a 1-0 regular season victory. The teams played to a 1-1 draw at CenturyLink Field in the last of three meetings between the teams Sept. 27 of last year.
- The teams met in 2012 in the Western Conference Championship, the Galaxy winning 4-2 on aggregate, including a 3-0 win in Carson in the first leg.
- Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. SEA: P12 W5 L3 T4 Ö Sigi Schmid vs. LA: P18 W6 L6 T6
Seattle Sounders FC returned to their winning ways, defeating arch-rival Portland Timbers 2-0 on July 13 at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in first place in the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 38 points from 18 games.
- Sounders FC finally made the breakthrough in the 74th minute. Following a freekick, Clint Dempseyís initial attempt was blocked by goakeeper Donovan Ricketts and bounced to Obafemi Martins, who was denied by Ricketts again. But Gonzalo Pineda drove the rebound back through the box toward the back post, where Dempsey turned the ball into the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box.
- The home side put in the dagger in the 87th minute. Martins freed Lamar Neagle on a quick break on the left, and he put in a rolling cross into the area for Marco Pappa, who fired a shot past a fallen Ricketts from the spot.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that fell 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. DeAndre Yedlin returned to the back four in place of Leo Gonzalez, Gonzalo Pineda and Osvaldo Alonso came back into the midfield for Brad Evans and Micheal Azira, and Clint Dempsey also returned to the team in place of Kenny Cooper.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Chad Marshall, Jalil Anibaba - Lamar Neagle, Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Micheal Azira 87) - Clint Dempsey (Dylan Remick 90), Chad Barrett (Obafemi Martins 51).
- Sounders FC won their sixth consecutive league match at CenturyLink Field, matching their club record set last season (July 28-Sept. 13).
- In his first MLS match back following his return from the FIFA World Cup and the U.S. national team, Clint Dempsey scored his ninth goal of the. It was Dempseyís first league goal since April 26, which concluded a four-game span where he scored seven goals.
- "I was very happy with the way our team played. I was a little surprised at how many minutes we got out of Clint (Dempsey) as we did, that was over and beyond the call of duty. It was great to have those guys back," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid.
- Obafemi Martins also returned to the team after missing the previous two matches, one through suspension and one with a hamstring injury, coming on early in the second half.
- "One of the thought processes for me was wanting to get Oba onto the field earlier than I normally sub because when Oba is on the field he and Clint have such a good understanding together," Schmid said. "I figured they could get some minutes -- at least 15 or 20 minutes together -- and they kept going. It worked out all right."
- Said Dempsey: "It's fun. Playing with Oba is like playing pickup ... We see the game the same. We like to link up and make those passes that create space for each other. I really enjoy playing with him."
- DeAndre Yedlin also made his return to Sounders FC, his first match after returning from the FIFA World Cup, playing the entire match at left back.
- "I think we made the right decision. DeAndre had some time off, and he will have a few more days off after the Tottenham game, because I think you need to do that," said Schmid. "Clint felt fresh when he came back ... and DeAndre is a young kid and doesn't know how to feel yet."
- Brad Evans was kept out of the team after playing four consecutive matches, the first three in the back four, then the last in the midfield. Leo Gonzalez also missed a match for the first time since May 7.
- "Leo felt a little bit of a tweak in his hamstring again so we decided to back off with him. Brad had taken a knock on the knee in the game on Wednesday and it just didn't improve, so he feels much better but not where he could have played," said Schmid.
- Marco Pappa scored his second league goal of the season, both coming over the last five games. Pappa has started every league match since May 7.
- "I see his game continuing to grow and develop. There's some good, good defensive moments he's given us on the flank, and that was never considered a trait of Marco's," Schmid said. "He's on the field because he helps our attack, not because we want him to be a great left side defender, but he's got to do some of that work and has really grown as a player. He has found a mix and he knows how to find those pockets of space, which are really important."
- At midweek, Sounders FC reached a 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur FC in a friendly at CenturyLink Field. Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso and Tristan Bowen netted goals for the Sounders.
- Here's the Seattle team: Stefan Frei (Josh Ford 78), DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall (Djimi Traore 63), Zach Scott, Jalil Anibaba, Lamar Neagle (Tristan Bowen 78), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda (Michael Azira 90), Marco Pappa (Aaron Kovar 75), Obafemi Martins (Kenny Cooper 63), Clint Dempsey (Sean Okoli 75).
The LA Galaxy saw their undefeated run come to an end after eight matches, falling 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday afternoon at Sporting Park. The Galaxy sit in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 27 points from 17 games.
- Sporting took the lead in the 10th minute. A foul outside the penalty area gave the home side the chance, and Benny Feilhaber curled a hard strike into the upper left corner of the goal past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
- SKC doubled their lead in the 61st minute. Penedo saved substitute Jacob Peterson's header off the crossbar following a corner kick, but Lawrence Olum was right there to head in from close range.
- The Galaxy tightened things in the 79th minute. After a failed clearance on a Galaxy corner kick, Robbie Keane ran onto substitute Bradford Jamieson IV's flick-on header and sent a rolling shot inside the left-hand post.
- Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that strolled to a 5-1 win against the New England Revolution at StubHub Center. Marcelo Sarvas and Landon Donovan came into the midfield in place of Stefan Ishizaki and Kenney Walker, and Kofi Opare came into the back four for the suspended Dan Gargan.
- LA GALAXY (4-3-1-2): Jaime Penedo - Tommy Meyer, Kofi Opare, Leonardo, A.J. DeLaGarza (Bradford Jamieson 75) - Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho (Stefan Ishizaki 70), Baggio Husidic (Kenney Walker 84) - Landon Donovan - Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes.
- The Galaxy had their undefeated run put to an end after eight matches, their first league defeat since a 1-0 loss May 17 at Houston. They went 5-0-3 over the streak, the clubís longest undefeated run since a 14-game span without loss during the 2011 season.
- "They were getting a lot of freedom wide with the outside backs and midfielders. We tried to put players around them a little more. I think we did a good job getting around their centerbacks and making it a little more difficult on them. When we put them under significant pressure, they struggled," said Landon Donovan. "It's too bad we couldn't have started with that much energy and concentration. So at the end of the day, that's where we lost the game, the way we started."
- Robbie Keane scored his third goal over the last two matches, and now has 10 goals for the season. Keane is fifth in the MLS Golden Boot standings; he has scored double-digits in goals now for three consecutive seasons.
- "The more I get on the ball, the more I can make things happen. I've done that my whole career and the way we play certainly suits my style of play. But at the end of the day, we've lost the game," Keane said. "We gave up a good goal, then scored a good goal to get back (into the game). We showed good spirit in the second half and gave a good battle."
- With Dan Gargan suspended and Robbie Rogers sidelined with an ankle injury, Tommy Meyer shifted to right back. Each of his first eight starts this season had been in central defense.
- "We started the game with 11 and ended the game with 11. We were just outplayed the first half. We played a poor half. The formation was off without Omar (Gonzalez) and injuries, which isn't an excuse. We were just outplayed in the first half," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
- Kofi Opare returned to the back four, his first start since June 28, partnering Leonardo in central defense for the first time since May 11.
- "It's not ideal to play with four centerbacks across the backline. You can't fault those guys because we don't really have a chance to practice like that," said Landon Donovan. "We knew only yesterday that Robbie Rogers wasn't going to be able to (play), so you have to adjust accordingly. It's not the perfect situation, but that's part of a season. That stuff happens and you have to deal with it. That's not an excuse, but I think we're better defensively than what we showed."
- Bradford Jamieson made his MLS debut, coming on as a substitute for the final quarter-hour, and recorded his first career assist on the Galaxy goal.
- "It's always a big occasion, your first game. To set up an assist is certainly nice for him. He's going to grow in confidence," said Keane. "It's really nice for him to play in a game like this. I thought the New England game would have been perfect to come on and show what he can do, but this game was a bit difficult for him to get on the ball because we were pushing to try and get the win."
- Said Donovan: "He had a few plays where he could have done better to have a cleaner touch and maybe get a cross off or make something dangerous happen, but it's his first game. You don't expect perfection, but we're happy for him."
- On Wednesday, the Galaxy lost 7-0 to Manchester United FC in a friendly played at the Rose Bowl before a crowd of 84,632.
- "We have too many players that are technically deficient right now, and thatís something they should learn. And also speed of thought, quickness in moving, winning tackles, running off the ball. All the simple things we frequently talk about, but unless you see it live and in real life, itís something hard to have a picture of it. And they got a great picture of it," Arena said.
- Here's the Galaxy team: Jaime Penedo (Brian Rowe 46), A.J. Delagarza (Rafael Garcia 61), Tommy Meyer (Kyle Venter 61, Charlie Rugg 67), Leonardo (Kofi Opare 46), Dan Gargan (Oscar Sorto 61), Baggio Husidic (Bradford Jamieson 46), Marcelo Sarvas (Landon Donovan 61), Juninho (Kenney Walker 46), Stefan Ishizaki (Raul Mendiola 61), Robbie Keane (Chandler Hoffman 61), Gyasi Zardes (Rob Friend 46)