Goal.com - Home

thumbnail Hello,
 
Played
March 15, 2011 10:00 PM EDT
CenturyLink Field — Seattle, Washington
Referee:‬ A. Prus‎
Attendance:‬ 36443‎
 
 
Juninho 58′

Seattle Sounders FC - LA Galaxy: Head To Head Preview

MLS is back with a bang, and Goal.com gives you the lowdown on the opening match.

By John Zielonka and Andrea Canales

Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy; James Riley, Seattle Sounders FC; MLS (Getty Images)
On Form

Seattle Sounders FC: Forward Fredy Montero looks ready to once again be Seattle’s primary offensive threat in 2011. In the Sounders’ last tuneup match, the Colombian played a role in all three tallies in the 3-0 victory over current MLS Cup champions Colorado Rapids. Montero lofted a perfect free kick that was redirected into the net by defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, and he took advantage of one-touch passes from Erik Friberg and O’Brian White to notch his other two scores. The Sounders will need his playmaking and scoring skills to keep up with the talent-laden Galaxy. 

Los Angeles Galaxy: For the first time since 2008, the Galaxy have David Beckham available for their first game of the season. Beckham has also made a point of stressing how his offseason training at Tottenham earlier in the year has actually helped his fitness and made him more ready to be an asset to the Galaxy this year. The midfielder is in the last year of his MLS contract, and if there's ever a time to prove to many skeptical Galaxy fans that he's serious about bringing a trophy to Los Angeles, this is the time to do it, by hitting the ground running.

Off Target

Seattle: The Sounders lost starting midfielders Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani to injuries in the win over the Rapids. Winger Zakuani suffered a right hip injury and Evans left the pitch holding his right hamstring. According to head coach Sigi Schmid, the decision whether they play or not will be made the day before Tuesday’s match. Neither player played a significant role in Sunday’s practice.

Los Angeles: Where, oh where will the goals come from? With goalscorer galore Edson Buddle off to Germany, the Galaxy have brought in Juan Pablo Angel to fill the void. Angel is savvy and experienced, but not fast or young.

In preseason action, even with the benefit of Beckham's service, Angel hasn't lit up the scoreboard. He has, however, had a number of close calls, with balls banging off the posts and crossbar, so perhaps it's just taking him a bit of time to get dialed in. If the aging striker doesn't get some goalscoring help from Chad Barrett or Adam Cristman, or Landon Donovan, though, the Galaxy could be in big trouble from the start of the 2011 season.

Tactics

Seattle: If Evans and Zakuani are out, Schmid will have some interesting lineup decisions to make. The veteran gaffer said in his post game press conference after the Colorado game that his squad is deep enough to handle the injuries. The Sounders will miss Zakuani’s speed, slashing runs into the box, and scoring ability. However, Friberg and White did manage to net assists as second-half subs in the Colorado match. It appears that the final starters will remain in a flux pending Evans’ and Zakuani’s ability to heal before game time.



Los Angeles
: Galaxy coach Bruce Arena isn't given  to exotic tactics, and the new-look Galaxy will appear much the same as last season. One question is who will pair with Omar Gonzales in central defense, since veteran and now player-coach Gregg Berhalter is recovering from an injury. It could be Leonardo, the athletic but inconsistent Brazilian, or A.J. DeLaGarza, the small, but versatile defender who partnered Gonzalez in defense to a university championship.

Intangibles

Seattle: The preseason atmosphere around the club felt more focused and business-like. In their previous two training camps, the Sounders made trips outside of the U.S. for some of the preseason matches. This year the club played mostly MLS sides. Gone were the distractions of being an expansion franchise, Freddie Ljungberg’s problems with teammates and management, and the 2010 strike threat. The LA game will be an interesting and early test of this new approach.

Los Angeles: Something about Seattle juices up the Los Angeles players and they usually perform well enough to leave the vaunted crowds at Sounders matches quiet and frustrated. If Seattle fires up the home fans by going ahead early, though, that script could flip completely.

Outcome


Seattle: "Donovan, Beckam, Angel, Omar Gonzalez, Ricketts…" is how Schmid responded when asked for a Galaxy scouting report. The Sounders are overmatched in this one. Seattle Sounders FC 1 (Montero)  – 3 LA Galaxy (Donovan, Angel-2)

Los Angeles: Sometimes logic must be laid aside for things that repeatedly keep happening. It's not that the Galaxy are so good or that Seattle is a really bad squad, but somehow, the Galaxy keep beating Seattle, either home or away. It's some weird force of nature - like the tide. Seattle 1-2 Galaxy.

Bonus

Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller previews the match. Watch below.



Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Oct 27, 2013 Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Los Angeles Galaxy 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Sep 21, 2013 Los Angeles Galaxy 1 - Seattle Sounders FC 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ May 26, 2013 Los Angeles Galaxy 4 - Seattle Sounders FC 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Nov 18, 2012 Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Los Angeles Galaxy 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Nov 11, 2012 Los Angeles Galaxy 3 - Seattle Sounders FC 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Kasey KellerGoalkeeper
2Jeff ParkeDefender
12Leonardo GonzálezDefender
34Jhon Kennedy HurtadoDefender
26James RileyDefender
17Erik FribergMidfielder
20Á. FernándezDefender
7Steve ZakuaniMidfielder
6Osvaldo AlonsoMidfielder
-O'Brian WhiteStriker
17Fredy MonteroStriker
-Terry BossGoalkeeper
20Zach ScottDefender
6Patrick IanniDefender
17Servando CarrascoMidfielder
27Lamar NeagleMidfielder
-Roger LevesqueStriker
32M. MontañoStriker
12Josh SaundersGoalkeeper
5Sean FranklinDefender
22LeonardoDefender
2Todd DunivantDefender
20A.J. DeLaGarzaDefender
33Chris BirchallMidfielder
9Mike MageeMidfielder
19JuninhoMidfielder
32David BeckhamMidfielder
10Landon DonovanStriker
19Chad BarrettStriker
1Brian PerkGoalkeeper
-Frankie HejdukDefender
-Jovan KirovskiStriker
-Miguel LópezMidfielder
-Michael StephensMidfielder
-Bryan JordanStriker
-Paolo Daniel CardozoMidfielder
Players to Watch
Fredy Montero
Fredy Montero
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 17
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
5 0 0 0
Prediction
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
Striker
Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Striker
Columbus Crew
4 2
Dominic Dwyer Dominic Dwyer
Striker
Sporting KC
4 1