Competition: MLS Playoffs Knockout Round – Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Wednesday, 28 October – 22:00 ET (02:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Seattle Sounders 11/8 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 19/10
Seattle Sounders entertain LA Galaxy on Wednesday night as the Western Conference rivals go to battle in the knockout round in what is arguably the juiciest fixture of the first round of postseason games.
The Sounders come into the tie off the back of their 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake in the final game of the regular season and have earned home-field advantage as a result of finishing higher than the Galaxy.
They will see this as a good chance to progress given LA Galaxy’s poor run of form away from home, but know they cannot take anything for granted.
In the last ten meetings between the sides when the Sounders have been at home they have only lost twice, winning six, but memories of last year’s Western Conference final exit at the hands of the Galaxy will still hurt.
LA Galaxy will be looking to replicate their playoff form of last year but know this is going to be a really tough task.
The sides met three times in the regular season, with the Galaxy going unbeaten (W2 D1) but they have failed to win at CenturyLink Field in each of their last three attempts.
Galaxy have the players to lead them in this game, but they cannot afford any slack performances. This is a huge chance for the likes of Steven Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos to really make a name for themselves in their first MLS Cup Playoff appearances.
LA cannot afford to think about their dismal form on the road this season too much otherwise they’ll be in trouble from the off. The playoffs set up completely different types of games and Galaxy need to use that to their advantage in this monumental tie.Embed from Getty Images
Seattle Sounders are expecting to be without Roman Torres, Andres Correa and Andy Craven. Oniel Fisher, Marco Pappa and Nelson Valdez are all doubts.
LA Galaxy have four injury concerns. Brian Perk and Bradford Jamieson IV are set to miss out, while Todd Dunivant and Baggio Husidic are doubts.
Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: W/D/D/D/W
LA Galaxy’s last five in MLS: L/W/D/L/L
Key Stat: LA Galaxy’s road struggles saw them fail to win in 17 of their 19 regular season games away from StubHub Center. Homesick.
Key Player: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy’s goal machine netted an impressive 20 goals in 24 regular season appearances. He knows how to deliver in big knockout games and will no doubt look to terrorise the Sounders defence here.
Seattle Sounders 2-1 LA Galaxy – Sounders to progress in what looks set to be a really tight tie. Both sides will expect to find the net but home advantage should see Seattle advance. But don’t hold your breath as the lottery of the playoffs mean nothing is certain!