Playoff Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders

The first-leg of the Western Conference final is set to be an enthralling tie as the Seattle Sounders travel to take on LA Galaxy in their latest clash.

The two sides who went head-to-head for the MLS Supporters’ Shield during the last two weeks of the regular season are set to lock horns again, with a place in this season’s MLS Cup Final at stake.

We can expect a cagey opening in the first-leg between these two sides, with neither wanting to give any advantage ahead of the return fixture.

LA Galaxy home form: Played 18 – Won 13 – Drawn 4 – Lost 1

The game will also see two of the highest scorers from the regular season go head-to-head again in the shape of Obafemi Martins and Robbie Keane. With star strikers to aim at, both sides will fancy their chances.

Don’t Miss: Stats: Keane & Donovan vs Dempsey & Martins – Who will come out on top?

US soccer heroes Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey will also face up against one another, and will be key for their respective sides.

Embed from Getty Images

The Galaxy will be looking to avenge their Supporters’ Shield loss, but the Sounders will have the added desire to try and create history by wrapping up the treble if they can get through two tricky ties against Los Angeles.

Seattle Sounders away form: Played 18 – Won 8 – Drawn 4 – Lost 6

The home side must ensure they have a positive result in this game and Seattle will want that all-important away goal – the goal that was the deciding factor in their semi-final contest with FC Dallas.

The 1-1-1 record between these two in the regular season means this couldn’t be more evenly poised and LA will be hoping to take a victory into the away fixture the following week.

We can expect the Sounders to look to absorb pressure from the Galaxy and hit them with pace on the counter. Hold up play is going to be a key part of the game for both Martins and Dempsey as LA will likely dominate possession.

Embed from Getty Images

Osvaldo Alonso is expected to recover from a knock in time to play on Sunday, and Seattle will be desperately hoping that he does indeed make the game. He is the key man in midfield and without him, LA will dominate everything in the centre of the park.

The Galaxy will need to be tight at the back and not over-commit men forward when trying to break Seattle down to avoid being hit on the counter. They will be feeling great ahead of the game though, after the 5-0 demolition of Real Salt Lake in their semi-final clash – something that was a real surprise.

Embed from Getty Images

A special mention has to go out to Landon Donovan after he showed his class yet again with that hat-trick in the 5-0 win over RSL and Seattle will need to try and keep him quiet in what could be his final game at StubHub Center.

This will be a very exciting two-legged affair and we are really looking forward to the game.

Key Player: Landon Donovan – this could be his last home game for the Galaxy and the big-game player will play a key role in both ties.

Key Stat: Both Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) and Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders) have contributed to 26% of their clubs goals this season.

LA Galaxy Last 5: L/D/L/D/W

Seattle Sounders Last 5: L/D/W/D/D

Prediction: LA Galaxy 2-2 Seattle Sounders

Advertisements

Playoff Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake meet again in the reverse leg of their Western Conference playoff semi-final at the StubHub Center on Sunday.

This second leg is so delicately poised after a hard-fought goalless draw in the blustery wind at the Rio Tinto Stadium last weekend, much to the credit of the Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo who kept them in it.

The onus will very much be on LA Galaxy to produce after they’ve now gone four games without a win if you include the three games at the end of the regular season and have hit a stale run of form at the worst possible time.

The Galaxy have drawn two and lost two of the last four and it equals their worst run of form since the turn of April in to May when they went on a four game winless streak, also recording two draws and two defeats.

Embed from Getty Images

[Jaime Penedo kept his side in it last time out]

LA will be looking to their strong home form and desperately hoping that it’s going to come up trumps for them once again.

With just one home defeat in the entire regular season, they will take some confidence from that, but they need to win this game or they risk being eliminated on away goals.

LA Galaxy’s home form: Played 17 – Won 12 – Drawn 4 – Lost 1

Real Salt Lake will come away from the first-leg with mixed emotions after they spurned the opportunity to take a lead with them to LA.

They dominated the majority of their home game but couldn’t capitalise on it and it may come back to haunt them.

However, a 0-0 draw at home is never a bad result in the first-leg as they know that a score draw sees them through on the away goal rule.

Embed from Getty Images

[Main man: Joao Plata has had a great season for RSL]

They haven’t won on the road for six games since a 1-0 win in Colorado at the beginning of August, so they’ll be thankful that a draw could be enough to see them home.

Real Salt Lake’s away form: Played 17 – Won 4 – Drawn 6 – Lost 7

With the game on such a knife edge, it promises excitement and drama, especially as the newly introduced away goals rule may well play a crucial role in the final outcome.

Many will be expecting another tightly contested game and it could take a moment of magic or a moment of madness from someone to turn the tide in favour of either side.

Extra-time and penalties are looming if we see a repeat result of last weekend’s game, so can either side take the initiative?

Key Player: Landon Donovan – he will be desperate to ensure that this isn’t his last ever game for LA Galaxy and there isn’t a better moment for him to shine.

Key Stat: These two sides have only produced four goals in their last four meetings so we expect another cagey affair.

LA Galaxy’s last five: W/L/D/L/D

Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/W/D/W/D

Prediction: LA Galaxy 1 – 1 Real Salt Lake – The Galaxy to suffer the pain of an away goals defeat for the first time in Major League Soccer.

Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy will go head-to-head in arguably the most crucial game of the season at CenturyLink Field on Saturday as both teams fight to become the Supporters’ Shield winners.

Soccer games do not come bigger than this as these two Western Conference sides are the only teams that can now win the Supporters’ Shield title.

The formula is simple – LA Galaxy absolutely have to win the game in order to clinch it, whereas a draw would be enough for Seattle due to their superior ‘games won’ tally giving the Sounders the most slightest of advantages going in to it.

As it stands going in to the final game:

AS IT STANDS

Embed from Getty Images

Seattle Sounders come in to this game on the back of an inconsistent run of form with just two wins from their last six games so they will need to try and give it one final push to ensure they don’t fall at the final hurdle.

They have failed to beat LA Galaxy in their last six regular season meetings, so they will be relieved that they aren’t the team that has to win this game – their last win against the Galaxy was a resounding 4-0 success back in August 2012.

Seattle Sounders home form: Played 16 – Won 11 – Drawn 1 – Lost 4

Before a narrow defeat to FC Dallas and a thrilling draw with Seattle, LA Galaxy have been almost unstoppable, winning eight of the previous ten games and they’ve lost just three in their last 25 matches – an impressive record.

They were on the verge of a priceless victory on Sunday night when they led Seattle 2-0, so they will be devastated that they threw the game away but they have it in them to recover quickly and go again.

Inconsistency away from home would be the only concern for LA as five of their six defeats this season have come in games away from the StubHub Center.

Having said that, they convincingly brushed Seattle aside the last time they visited CenturyLink field in July and ran out 3-0 winners, so they will be hoping for a repeat performance.

Should LA Galaxy be victorious, they will become the most successful side in the history of the Supporters’ Shield with five titles – they are currently tied with DC United on four.

LA Galaxy’s away form: Played 16 – Won 5 – Drawn 6 – Lost 5

Embed from Getty Images

It’s the biggest game of the regular season, it promises to be exciting and it’s unlikely to disappoint.

We can’t wait to see it all unfold.

Key Player: Obafemi Martins – The Nigerian is in the running for the MVP award for his efforts this season and if he performs to the best of his ability, he could drag Seattle over the finish line.

Key Stat: LA Galaxy have both the best attack (69 scored) and best defence in the league (35 conceded) so they will be hoping that counts for something come the end of the season. 

Seattle Sounders last five: L/W/W/L/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: W/W/W/L/D

Prediction: Seattle Sounders 1 – 2 LA Galaxy

Preview: LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

All eyes will be on the StubHub center on Sunday night as LA Galaxy play host to their Western Conference rivals, Seattle Sounders, with both side’s fighting for the Supporters’ Shield in the final two games of the season.

Billed as the game of the season, this has the potential to thrill. When you throw names like Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Robbie Keane and Obafemi Martins into the same game, you’re in for a treat.

Sadly for the Sounders, they have only won once against the Galaxy in their last seven. And the Galaxy have won their last six at home.

Embed from Getty Images

All the stats point towards a shutout for L.A and a few goals too, as they have only conceded twelve at home, but football isn’t played on paper as we all know and this could go either way.

Seattle can clinch the Supporters’ Shield win a victory in LA, as they have won more games than the Galaxy, and whoever comes out on top over the next two games will earn the top seed in the Western Conference.

The Galaxy must ensure they don’t lose to keep their season on track, and a draw will set next week’s meeting in Seattle up to thrill even more, but this should be good!

Key Player: Landon Donovan – it may be the obvious choice but with ten goals and fourteen assists, LD is crucial to the Galaxy. Expect him to be the star in his final regular season game in LA.

Key Stat: Seattle hasn’t won on the road to LA since 2009. Time to end that streak, and clinch the Supporters’ Shield?

Prediction: L.A Galaxy 2 – 1 Seattle Sounders

 

Preview: LA Galaxy and FC Dallas look to stop the rot in tonights meeting

LA Galaxy host FC Dallas in the late game on Wednesday night at the StubHub Center as both sides look to end poor winless streaks.

The Galaxy are without a win in four, and Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Dynamo means they have only scored one in their past three games.

They are missing Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez, who are with the USMNT’s training camp but Robbie Keane should feature for LA in tonights match.

FC Dallas are on a five-game winless run, and their 1-1 draw with Chivas USA at the weekend ended a run of four losses in a row.

They started the season so well, but are now really struggling and injuries to key players isn’t making their task any easier.

Mauro Diaz will be out for a lengthy period, and midfielder Hendry Thomas is also expected to miss around six weeks too.

Dallas still sit in third in the Western Conference on 17 points, eight higher than bottom placed LA, who have played four games less.

Tonight’s game should be a tight contest as neither side can afford to lose, and Dallas will look to soak up pressure and counter-attack through the pace of Fabian Castillo.

The Galaxy are playing just their third home game of the season, and will relish the prospect of playing in front of their own fans after four consecutive away matches.

They will need to start taking their chances, they have scored just eight goals in eight games and have a chance conversion rate of just 5%. A shocking statistic when they have Robbie Keane up front.

Embed from Getty Images

(Photo: Robbie Keane will want to add to his 5 goals in tonight’s meeting)

Keane started behind Rob Friend and Samuel on Saturday, but he will need to feature as the striker tonight if the Galaxy want to get goals, and they should as Dallas have not kept a clean-sheet all season.

Both sides play again at the weekend, and will want to take maximum points from the double gameweek, though it’s a tough task for Dallas who travel to Real Salt Lake on Sunday. LA have another home game against Philadelphia and a good opportunity to push up the table.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – Dallas will need him to break quickly whenever they have the opportunity, as they will look to soak up pressure from LA all night.

Key Statistic: LA Galaxy have scored from just 5% of their chances created so far this season.

Prediction: LA Galaxy 2-0 FC Dallas