A club can only have so many firsts before something becomes common. For Seattle Sounders FC, this was not the first season they’ve made the playoffs, but it is the first time they’ve won a series and now ready themselves for the Western Conference Finals.
The foe — an inconsistent, old but very talented LA Galaxy side. With the up-and-down season the boys from Hollywood have had, it’s easy to remember that they’re the defending champs. Sounders fans also know that in their time in the MLS, LA has had the Rave Green’s number.
Like the battle against Real Salt Lake, this two-leg contest will be tight, but there will most definitely be less defense and the Sounders will host the second leg.
As we’ve said all season long, this is the best Sounders side ever. Not only can we score, but defend and inject our style of play into any game. Injuries and now suspensions will be a concern in tonight’s first leg down in LA, but if Seattle is able to get any result, win or tie, the road to the cup becomes that much clearer.
We know Marc Burch is out (and damn well should be), and the status of playmaker Mauro Rosales is still unknown. The other concerning injury is that of Leo Gonzalez who would normally be in Burch’s spot leaving Seattle without a left back.
The equation is simple tonight for the Sounders – get at least a draw. That will be difficult though as the trio of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and David Beckham are catching fire at the right time. Keep the left back spot tight, bump Landycakes out of position and of course keep Michael Gspurning healthy.
Projected Starting XI
GK – Gspurning
RB – Johansson CB – Parke CB – Hurtado LB – Scott
CDM – Alonso
LM – Tiffert RM – Martinez
CAM – Evans
FW – Johnson FW – Montero
Subs – Rose, Zakuani
LA jumps out early with a goal in the first 15 minutes, but the Sounders respond before the half. LA pressures all of the second half but like in RSL, Seattle won’t break. The match ends 1-1 and moves back to Seattle.
Kick-off is at 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.