MATCH: Los Angeles Galaxy (3-3-1, 10 points, 7th, West Conf.) at Seattle Sounders FC (4-1-1, 13 points, 4th, West Conf.). TYPE: MLS. WHEN: Wednesday, 7 p.m., CenturyLink Field. MEETING: 7th (Galaxy leads 5-0-1 in MLS). TV: KONG 6/16. RADIO: 97.3 KIRO FM; SPANISH RADIO: La Gran D 99.3 FM.
After playing three matches in April, the Sounders play seven in May, including three in the next week, starting with a visit by the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Galaxy Wednesday.Surprisingly, L.A. has already lost three times and is coming off a 1-1 draw with F.C. Dallas.
Thanks to a 61st-minute goal by Eddie Johnson Saturday, his first as a Sounder, Seattle is off to the best start in franchise history, and is averaging 2.17 points per match, which ranks third in the league behind Sporting Kansas City (2.63) and the San Jose Earthquakes (2.38).
The Sounders are unbeaten over their past three matches (2-0-1), but have not defeated the Galaxy in MLS play.
The Galaxy are led by Robbie Keane, David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle. Keane leads the club with three goals, 22 shots and 12 shots on goal. Beckham has one goal, five shots on goal and two assists. Donovan also has one goal and two assists. Buddle has a goal and an assist.
However, Beckham did not make the trip. He stayed in LA to rest. He takes the middle game off when the schedule calls for three in eight days. He played last Saturday and will play next Saturday.
SERIES: Dates to May 10, 2009, when the Sounders and Galaxy played to a 1-1 tie at Qwest Field (Seattle goal by Sebastien Le Toux). Sounders and Galaxy last met in an MLS match July 4 in Carson, CA., the teams playing to a 0-0 draw. Seven of the nine goals scored by LA in the series came in 2010.
Seattle and Los Angeles have met several times outside of regular-season competition. They battled in the first round of the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs as Seattle fell 3-1 over the two legs. The sides also met twice in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals with Seattle winning both meetings, 2-0 in the 2010 and 3-1 in 2011.
LAST MATCH (Sounders, April 28): Seattle improved to 4-1-1 (13 points) with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire. Only an 89th-minute goal from Marco Pappa prevented Michael Gspurning from picking up his fourth clean sheet. The goal ended his shutout streak at 336 consecutive minutes. Sounders got on the board in the 39th minute with an own goal off a deflection from a Chicsgo player, and Johnson scored in the 61st.
LAST MATCH (Galaxy, April 28): Former Sounder Pat Noonan scored a dramatic stoppage-time equalizer as the Galaxy salvaged a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas at Home Depot Center. FC Dallas held a 1-0 lead in the second minute of stoppage time when Noonan slipped a ball into the left corner of the net. The goal canceled out Brek Sheas 61st-minute penalty kick.
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
- Seattle’s seven games in May is the most the club has had in a calendar month.
- Seattle’s 13 points in the season’s first six matches breaks the previous best season start, 12 points through the first six matches of 2009.
- Seattle has reached the 13-point mark in four fewer matches than the 2011 Sounders.
- With his goal against Chicago, Eddie Johnson now has MLS 42 tallies, the most by any Sounders player.
- Seattle is 48-25-27 (171 points) through its first 100 games matches, the second-most points of any expansion club through its first 100 (Chicago Fire – 178 points).
- Michael Gspurning has allowed three goals (fewest in MLS) for the league’s second-best goals against average (0.50).
- The three goals allowed by Seattle through six games matches the team’s previous best start, in 2009.
- Gspurning and Osvaldo Alonso have played every minute this season.
- Seattle striker Fredy Montero is still seeking his first goal — and first point — of the 2012 season.
- By defeating the Fire at Chicago last Saturday, the Sounders extended the MLS’s best road record to 6-0-1.
- Injury Update: Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez continues to recover from a quad strain and midfielder Steve Zakuani has been in full training.
- Seattle has used a different lineup in all six contests, starting 23 different players in league competition and 31 across all competitions.
- Former Seattle Sounder Pat Noonan (2010-11) has scored one goal for the Galaxy this season. Noonan scored one goal during his Sounders career (2010).
COACHES: Sigi Schmid became first head coach of Seattle Sounders FC Dec. 16, 2008, and is in his fourth year. Born in Tübingen, Germany, Schmid relocated with his family to the U.S. in 1956, and to Torrance, CA., in 1962. He was a four-year starter at UCLA (1972-75) and graduated with a B.S. degree in economics in 1976.
Schmid later earned a M.A. in business administration from Southern California. A certified public accountant, Schmid coached the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1999 through 2004, winning four major competitions: 2002 MLS Cup, 2002 MLS Supporters Shield, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2001 CONCACAF Champions Cup. He coached the Columbus Crew from 2006-08, winning the MLS Cup in his final season.
In 2009, under Schmid’s direction, the Sounders became the first expansion team to reach the MLS playoffs since the 1998 Chicago Fire. The Sounders also won the U.S. Open Cup in Schmid’s first season. They added their second and third U.S. Open Cup titles in 2010 and 2011.
Bruce Arena: The reigning MLS Coach of the Year, and a three-time MLS Cup winner, Bruce Arena enters his fifth season with the Galaxy. One of the most successful head coaches in MLS and U.S. National Team history, Arena led the Galaxy to their third MLS Cup last season, becoming the first coach in MLS league history to win three championships.
The all-time leader in wins among coaches in U.S. MNT history, Arena led the U.S. to the FIFA World Cup twice, including an historic quarterfinal berth in 2002 in Japan/Korea. Arena briefly coached at the University of Puget Sound in 1976.
COMING UP: The Sounders have a quick turnaround after playing the Galaxy. They host the Philadelphia Union Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(4-1-1, 13 points, MLS; 1-1 CCL)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||D||0-0||2-1-1|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KING||—||—||—|
|6/30||^vs. New England||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||7:00||ESPN2||—||—||—|
|8/11||^at San Jose||7:30||KING||—||—||—|
|9/2||^at FC Dallas||4:00||KING||—||—||—|
|10/21||^vs. FC Dallas||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|10/28||^at LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer; #=International friendly