SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. LOS ANGELES GALAXY Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

To my brothers and sisters in Green:
THE KING IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE KING. Sounders FC have lost a valuable piece of their long-term success. Manager Sigfried Schmid was sacked after the 3:0 defeat on 24th July at Sporting Kansas City. Sigi is beyond doubt the winningest coach in the short, but noteworthy, history of Major League Soccer. No MLS manager has exceeded the 228 league victories that Schmid has assessed. His teams have won three NCAA College Cups, One CONCACAF Champion’s Cup, five US Open Cups, three MLS Supporter’s Shields, and two MLS Cups. That is, in total, three amateur titles, and ten professional titles. An impressive haul indeed over a coaching career of 36 years. Schmid successfully managed the Sounders FC for seven seasons, and was, until a few days ago, the club’s only manager in the club’s MLS era. He holds a B.A. in Economics from UCLA and a Masters in Business Administration from USC. Before becoming a football coaching legend in America, the Tübingen, Germany native worked as an accountant. Love Schmid or hate him, I find it disturbing that the Sounders FC board of directors would sack a manager with a proven track record of success over seven seasons, for a lone unsuccessful season. This begs the question, is our club’s poor performance a reflection of the best the side can manage? Did Sigi lose the dressing room, did General Manager Garth Lagerway fail to expediently and adequately replace Obafemi Martins after his sale, or has our string of poor results been the result of a combination of all of those factors. And all of this is now the past. Former NASL Sounders player Brian Schmetzer is the future. May the Light protect us all. Farewell, Sigi, and thanks for all you’ve done for our football club. TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

The Good News
Sometimes a change in management is followed by an improvement in form. Let’s hope that the initial impact of Brian Schmetzer’s care-taker post is a positive one. The club have signed Uruguay and Boca Juniors midfielder, Nicolás Lodeiro. We finally have a competent #10 to function as playmaker and as an attacking midfield presence. Although I doubt Lodiero will be the second coming of Diego Maradona, his 48 caps for Uruguay tell me that his skills are world class. Sounders FC are generally more successful when they play in the friendly confines of Royal Brougham Park. Perhaps the insane groundswell of the crowd and ESC and it’s affiliated supporter groups will help will the lads to victory.

The Bad News
With the club in flux due to the change in manager, and the current Sounders squad being not nearly as formidable as when Obafemi Martens was in the team, essentially we can throw previous statistical results out the window. Even using the existing data from matches between Los Angeles and the Sounders, you could make a reasonable argument that it’s never been easy for us to take points away from the Galaxy. Los Angeles currently sit 4th in the league table and have been as explosive in scoring goals, as they have been stingy preventing them in their own half of the pitch. Republic of Ireland and Los Angeles striker, Robbie Keane, always seems to make it his business to torpedo our good times. I believe that he’s scored somewhere between eight to ten goals exclusively against our boys in Green. Jordan Morris has been rather quiet since his answer goal in Toronto. If his current dip in form continues, we are in a great deal of trouble. We currently sit 17th in the league table, we just lost not only the most successful manager in the history of our club, but also the only manager the club has employed in the MLS era.

The Rest
The pressure to restore the Sounders winning image is squarely on the shoulders of care-taker manager Brian Schmetzer. I will be paying close attention to his reactions as he takes on the reconstruction of the club. Having to battle master-class level manager Bruce Arena in your debut seems like an extremely difficult undertaking.

Selections from the previous match
Sounders FC: Frei, Mears, Evans, Marshall, Joevin Jones, Roldan, Friberg, Ivanschitz, Gómez, Morris, Dempsey.

Bench: Miller (gk), Fisher, Farfan, Alfaro, Valdez, Scott, Anderson.

Los Angeles: Rowe, DeLaGarza, Steres, Van Damme, Romney, dos Santos, de Jong, Larentowicz, Boateng, Keane, Zardes.

Bench: Kennedy (gk), Leonardo, Magee, Husidic, Lletget, Garcia, Gordon.

Injury List
Seattle-
OUT: Torres (ACL)

Los Angeles-
none

Discipline
no suspensions for either club

Fun Fact
The Anschutz Entertainment Group, the owners of the LA Galaxy, were developing the construction of a stadium in Berlin. During this construction a remaining piece of the Berlin Wall that was preserved as a monument had to be removed, allegedly for the purposes of having an unspoilt view.  The AEG were criticised during this construction for “…bully-like behaviour…” What a swell bunch of guys.

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