CARSON, Calif. – For several years now, the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders have regularly gone head-to-head in high stakes matches both in the regular season and playoffs. But the Sounders are still playing catch-up with the Galaxy as far as LA's Mike Magee is concerned.
The veteran forward poured some more fuel on an already-heated rivalry as the Galaxy get set to play Seattle on Saturday in the first of three direct matchups over 22 days (3 pm ET on ESPN in USA; MLS LIVE in Canada).
“When they came into the league, I think they [the Sounders] called us out,” Magee said of the intensity of the matches between LA and Seattle. “They challenged us, it didn’t work out well for them and they’re still trying to be what the Galaxy is.”
The midfielder was quick to point out that the Sounders are doing plenty right up in Seattle, establishing themselves as one of the league's top organizations. But Magee feels the Galaxy still have what they want – titles.
“They’re doing a great job. They have great fans and a great team," Magee said, "but I’d say – to be honest – they are a little bit jealous.”
The record is in LA’s favor. The Galaxy hold an 8-4-6 advantage over the Sounders in league play and they have won two of their three head-to-head playoff series.
In terms of silverware, the Sounders have lifted just a single regular-season Supporters' Shield, while the Galaxy have claimed three MLS Cups and two Supporters’ Shields since the Rave Green entered MLS in 2009.
Saturday's match is a rare instance where the Galaxy find themselves with a sizable advantage over their rivals in the Western Conference standings. The 9th-place Sounders have a game in hand, but a total of nine points separate them from 4th-place LA. Both teams will be looking to use Saturday's match to build some momentum: The Galaxy have one win in their last eight, while the Sounders have one win in their last seven.
After this weekend's match, the Galaxy and Sounders meet in a July 20 US Open Cup quarterfinal at StubHub and then back again at CenturyLink for a league match on July 31.
How's the 31-year-old Magee preparing for these matches? His formula is simple.
“We take it one game at a time. The Bill Belichick way.”