Once again, the Seattle Sounders must go through the Los Angeles Galaxy to capture MLS Cup. Who would’ve thought after last season’s epic Western Conference Final that these two storied clubs would be playing in the #4 vs. #5 play-in game?
Frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Though I am nervous, playing L.A. always gives me the heebie jeebies, but especially in the postseason, we owe those guys a serious whupping. And this just might be the year we do it.
Something is rotten in L.A. The Galaxy’s form has been putrid lately, having gone 1-3-1 in their last with a -6 GD. Hell, they’ve given up 13 goals in their last five. Even take away the Portland massacre and that’s still 8 conceded in 4 games. Donovan Ricketts is seriously shipping goals. This is not the same L.A. that has broken many a Rave Green heart
The Galaxy have been garbage away from Carson. Of their 14 wins, only two came outside of Southern California, and only one is quality. L.A. sandwiched away wins against Colorado and Dallas around their 3-1 thumping of us back in Dos Santos’s inaugural game. The team was hot back then and a 2-1 victory at Frisco speaks to that. However that was over 3 months ago.
Bold Prediction: Ugh. Like a recurring nightmare, Ozzie may miss another pivotal postseason game against the Galaxy. In Tuesday’s interview, Sigi mentioned Ozzie didn’t practice and will be a game-time decision. All that talk of the newly rebuilt (and Pineda-less) midfield will go out the window without El Corazon de Los Sounders. Beating L.A. without Ozzie won’t be easy.
It isn’t Keane, or Gerrard or Dos Santos who scares me, but coach Bruce Arena. Arena is the best coach in MLS (sorry Sigi!) and he’s more than capable of getting his boys hopping made and fired up to shake off their back-to-back losses. Much to Sigi’s chagrin, Arena knows how to beat us and usually does. But for the first time in along time, he’s coaching a very beatable team. Ricketts is shaky.
Goals change games. Seattle must score an early goal or the ghosts will be in our heads. The Sounders need to stay disciplined and not give up any sloppy goals (like we did in out last meeting with L.A.), but we must press the attack. If we pepper the L.A. goal, Rickets will crumble. Seattle bests L.A. for the first time in the postseason 3-2. And I can’t wait to see Sigi get that monkey off his back.