by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR), Oakland, CA
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Get ye ready for a Saturday matinée feature between our boys in Green and our thorny rival from the Southland, LA Galaxy. The lads in blue and gold have bounced us out of three MLS Cups, and we don’t much care for them. Expect both sides to buckle down in a match that will likely be a preview of the US Open Cup tie to be played at Avalon Boulevard 11 days hence. Time to form rank at your local viewing party and will the Sounders to victory. ECS and local supporters groups, we expect to hear your usual thundering din that can be heard on the other side of Puget Sound and clearly through our television speakers. Sharif & I at CommonWealth in Pill Hill, our mates at Danny Coyle’s in the Haight, and St. Stephen’s Gate in Mountain View will circle the wagons here in the Golden State and raise our glasses in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!
The Good News
With a draw on the road in Ontario last weekend, form is improving. We have all players back from international commitments, and the bulk of them are healthy – including Evans should he pass a late fitness test and be available for selection. At home our record against Galaxy is 3-3-3, pretty damn solid numbers. Los Angeles have a crap record away from home this season with a meager 1-3-4. If the friendly result against West Ham is any indication, the side might be getting back to their old selves with most of the team back from national team duty and injury. Perhaps it is a sign of better things to come and the strong resilient finish in the league we have grown accustomed to. If Morris’ answer goal at Toronto is any indication, he may be finding a purple patch of form at just the right time with all to play for in the rest of the season.
The Bad News
The head to head stats don’t really mean much as this is the first time the new look post-Oba Sounders will meet the Galaxy for the first of three meetings in the league, and also the aforementioned cup tie to be played in Carson. They can outscore us (30 goals to 14) and Robbie Keane has scored six goals against Seattle in the series to date. Galaxy are 6th in the table compared to our 18th. If LA roll out their Euro vets, Cole, Van Damme, Gerrard, and Keane it could be a very long afternoon as our younger lads struggle to find their form. Zardes and dos Santos can also be difficult to deal with, even with our defence at peak form. At home, Sounders have only managed a 4-0-4 record. It’s never good when a side is dropping half of its home results.
The match up between Sigi and Bruce Arena is a managerial clash of the titans. Brace yourselves. The disciplinary history between the two sides is littered with bookings and red cards. It’s likely to get wooly out there, in a hurry.
Galaxy Defender, David Romney played for both USF (NCAA) and San Francisco City FC of the PDL. Defender, Daniel Steres was once selected by Sounders FC in the Waiver Draft, but never appeared in the first team. Midfielder Sebastian Lletget was born in San Francisco, and once played for Sporting Santa Clara. Forward, Alan Gordon, played 28 times for the A-League iteration of arch-rival Portland Timbers.
Selections for Last Match
Sounders FC: Frei, Mears, Scott, Marshall, Joevin Jones, Alonso, Roldan, Friberg, Kovar, Morris, Ivanschitz.
Bench: Miller (gk), Fisher, Alfaro, Sturgis, Valdez, Gomez, Anderson.
Los Angeles: Rowe, DeLaGarza, Steres, Leonardo, Romney, de Jong, Larentowicz, dos Santos, Gerrard, Zardes, Keane.
Bench: Kennedy (gk), Magee, Gordon, Lletget, Garcia, Husidic, Boateng.
OUT: Torres (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Evans (calf).
Los Angeles –
OUT: Rogers (ankle surgery)
MATCHDAY DECISION: Lassiter (back), Kennedy (groin).
Seattle: none suspended.
Alonso suspended next booking.
Los Angeles: de Jong (sent off).
Steres suspended next booking.
No love lost. Despite only having met 18 times in the league, the series between Los Angeles and the Sounders has seen more than its share of rough play. In 18 matches between the sides, Sounders have been booked 34 times and sent off four times, with Los Angeles being booked 30 times and sent off three times. Spiky, yeh?