Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, April 12th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/5 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle 10/3
These two Western Conference rivals are two of the best teams in MLS and battled each other to the very end of last season for the Supporters’ Shield, so even though this is early in the season, Sunday’s meeting will be an important one.
It’s made more important considering neither side has been able to find any real form so far this season, with just three wins in nine games between them.Embed from Getty Images
The Galaxy lost 2-0 at the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend, leaving them with back-to-back regular season defeats for the first time since June 2013.
They were shutout for the second game in a row last weekend, and that is the first time that has happened to the five-time MLS Cup winners since May 2012, so things need to improve quickly.
Seattle edged past the Houston Dynamo 1-0 last weekend to seal their first victory since opening weekend and Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins have scored all six of the Sounders’ goals so far.
The Galaxy have not lost at home yet this season, beating Chicago in their opener and drawing 1-1 with Houston Dynamo three weeks ago, and supporters will be desperate to see them return to winning ways against the Sounders this weekend.Embed from Getty Images
The pair met three times in the regular season last year, winning one each and drawing one so this rivalry is perfectly poised.
They also met in the Western Conference championship game in the playoffs, with LA advancing on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate tie.
LA Galaxy look set to be without five men as Brian Perk (ankle), Kenney Walker (groin), Leonardo (quadriceps), Mika Vayrynen (calf) and Jose Villarreal (hamstring) are all injured. Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes will continue in attack and need to start finding form now.
Seattle will be without Gonzalo Pineda after he was sent off in last week’s win against Houston, while Leonardo Gonzalez (hip) is also out. Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins will look to inflict further damage on the Galaxy and the pair have scored all of the Sounders’ goals so far this season.
LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D/L/L
Seattle Sounders’ form: W/L/D/W
Key Stat: LA Galaxy are unbeaten in their last 21 home games in MLS and will need that streak to continue to avoid panic setting in.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The Sounders attacker has three goals and two assists in three appearances this season and is key to Seattle’s hopes.
LA Galaxy 1-2 Seattle Sounders – The Galaxy don’t look settled as a side just yet as the loss of Landon Donovan is clearly having an impact. Seattle have only lost once and with Martins and Dempsey in full flow, they will be too strong for their rivals in this one.