TUKWILA, Wash. — Brad Evans doesn’t have many good memories from playing the LA Galaxy on the road.
There was the game earlier this year when the Seattle Sounders gave up four first-half goals, including a penalty that Evans ceded, that led to a 4-0 loss. There was last year’s 3-0 loss in the first leg of the Western Conference Championship that ultimately doomed the Sounders’ quest for an MLS Cup. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Sounders have failed to beat the Galaxy on the road in six tries – including playoffs – and been outscored 13-2.
“They’ve had our number,” Evans told reporters earlier this week. “They’re a good team. They know how to play on that field. It’s a big pitch, plays bigger than it actually is just because of the way the stadium is set up. They tend to use that to their advantage.
“They have fast outside mids and fast outside backs that push forward. Juninho is not afraid to hit a 60- or 70-yard ball and push forward. It’s an experienced team, a good team, one of the best in the league. It’s up to us, to buckle down, to play our game.”
While the team and field may be problematic, Evans asserted the relatively large crowds have not been.
“You expect that when they score goals for it to be loud, but it doesn’t even come close to what we have up here,” Evans said. “It’s a non-issue.”
There’s reason for Seattle to think this time (Saturday at 10:30 pm ET; NBCSN) might be a bit different. The Sounders come into the matchup riding a five-game winning streak, having won eight of nine and boasting the best record in MLS. The Sounders have never led the Supporters’ Shield race this late into a season.
They will also have close to a full complement of players for one of the first times this year after Evans and Obafemi Martins were able to get through full training sessions on Thursday.
“Just because we’re in a good run of form, doesn’t mean victories are going to come easy,” Evans said. “I’ve said it every week that it’s been the biggest game of the season and again we find ourselves in another game where we can separate ourselves from the guys below us and put ourselves in a great position moving forward. Momentum is key, but it’s about not getting complacent.”