MATCH: Los Angeles Galaxy (10-10-3, 33 points, 5th, West Conf.) at Seattle Sounders FC (9-5-7, 34 points, 3rd, West Conf.). TYPE: MLS. WHEN: Sunday, 6 p.m., CenturyLink Field. MEETING: 8th (Galaxy leads 2-3-2). LAST FIVE: Sounders, T-T-W-T-W; Galaxy, L-T-W-T-L. TV: ESPN2. RADIO: 97.3 KIRO FM; SPANISH: La Gran D 99.3 FM.
Sunday’s match-up between the Sounders and LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field — note time change, from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. — will look quite a bit different than May 2, when Seattle beat Los Angeles 2-0. Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena did not use or have several of his top players in that match, including David Beckham. The Sounders draw no such luck Sunday as the Galaxy will be at full strength, including Beckham, who returned earlier in week from the Olympics’ Opening Ceremony in his native London.
After a poor start — three wins in their first 13 MLS matches — the Galaxy has rebounded strongly. Since the beginning of June, Los Angeles is 7-2-1 is fifth in the Western Conference with 33 points, one behind Seattle.
In the first meeting, the Galaxy didn’t have keeper Josh Saunders, defender Omar Gonzalez or designated players Robbie Keane and Beckham, who all missed the game for a litany of reasons.
But at least partially improved by the return to health and form of those players, the Galaxy have a five-game unbeaten streak and suddenly look a lot like the team many expected to compete for a second straight MLS Cup.
The Sounders are clearly aware.
I think you see a different dynamic, especially with the way those guys are playing right now, Sounders midfielder Brad Evans said Friday. Its going to be a team on the rise, thats playing well, almost the same form that were in right now. They hit a lull for a little bit but theyve picked it up and found out that its still going to take a lot of hard work to earn points in the league.”
The Sounders are a bit different, too. Although the win over the Galaxy may have represented the high point to their team-record 7-1-1 start to the season, they went into a slump relatively soon after, resulting in a nearly suffocating nine-game winless streak. But they also have back goalie Michael Gspurning to anchor the defense.
They have since emerged and are now riding a five-game unbeaten streak of their own (2-0-3), and a big part of that has been a team-wide return to health. The Sounders received good news Friday that new designated player Christian Tiffert from Germany received his visa. He practiced Saturday and will be available to play before a crowd that could reach 60, 000.
Over the past 10 games, Los Angeles has outscored opponents 24-14, and tallied three or more goals in five games. Overall, Galaxy are second in MLS in both goals and assists with 39 and 40, respectively
The Galaxy is led by its 3 DPs: Landon Donovan (nine goals, seven assists), Keane (nine goals, six assists), and Beckham (six goals, nine assists). In each of their respective last eight matches, Donovan has 19 points (seven goals, five assists), Keane 16 (six goals, four assists), and Beckham 14 (four goals, six assists).
Ten-year MLS veteran Mike Magee has added four goals and three assists while Chad Barrett and Juninho have a goal and three assists apiece. Goalkeeper Josh Saunders has made 16 starts with a 1.50 goals against average.
SOUNDERS PROBABLE LINEUP: Goalkeeper — Michael Gspurning; Defenders — Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez; Midfielders — Mauro Rosales, Brad Evans, Alex Caskey, Osvaldo Alonso; Forwards — Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson.
GALAXY PROBABLE LINEUPS: Goalkeeper — Josh Saunders; Defenders — Bryan Gaul, David Junior Lopes, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza; Midfielders — Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Marcelo Sarvas, Sean Franklin; Forwards — Robbie Keane, Mike Magee.
INJURIES (Sounders): Out — FW Babayele Sodade (ACL tear), F David Estrada (foot fracture).
SERIES: Dates to May 10, 2009, when the Sounders and Galaxy played to a 1-1 tie in Seattle (Seattle goal by Sebastien Le Toux). Sounders trail the all-time series 2-3-2 after defeating the Galaxy 2-0 May 2,
Seattle and Los Angeles have met several times outside of regular-season competition. The sides met in the first round of the 2010 MLS Cup playoffs, Seattle falling 3-1 over the two legs. 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): Andy Rose netted a goal and two assists Thursday as the Sounders defeated Caledonia AIA, 3-1, in the opening round of group play in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League. Fredy Montero and Sammy Ochoa also scored as Seattle extended its unbeaten streak to eight games (5-0-3) across all competitions.
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
- SEASON SUMMARY: Overall: 9-5-7. Last 5: T-T-W-T-W. Home: 6-3-1. Road: 3-2-6. Vs. East: 4-1-4. Vs. West: 5-4-3. March: 2-1-0; April: 2-0-1; May: 3-2-2; June: 0-2-2; July: 2-0-2; August: 0-0-0. Goals For: 27. Goals Against: 22.
- MLS TEAM RANKS: Goals: 27 (T9). Goals Scored Avg.: 1.25 (8th). Goals Allowed Per Match: 1.05 (2). Shots: 270 (10). Shots On Goal: 86 (14). Fouls Committed: 262 (10). Fouls Suffered: 275 (5). Yellow Card Cautions: 35 (T9).
- Sounders and Galaxy are separated by a single point in the West, holding two of the final three playoff positions in the division.
- Sounders are on a five-game MLS unbeaten run, after a 2-1 win in Colorado last weekend, while the Galaxy have gone five games without a loss after a 1-0 victory at FC Dallas last weekend.
- Three of Eddie Johnson’s last four goals have come from Mauro Rosales assists; Rosales has assists on five of Johnsons nine goals this season.
- Rosales has five assists in the last seven games.
- Christian Tiffert wasmost recently with FC Kaiserslautern of the German Bundesliga and with more than 280 appearances in Germany’s top flight, Tiffert has 12 years of top level experience in Germany and Austria, and the midfielder led the German Bundesliga with 17 assists in the 2010-11 season.
- Sounders also added Honduras Olympic team midfielder Mario Martinez on loan from Real España in his native country. Martinez has experience in Europe with Valerenga (Norway) and Anderlecht (Belgium). His Honduras team was eliminated Saturday from the Olympics.
- Sounders FC have not lost since a 2-1 reversal at Portland June 24.
SOUNDERS (MLS) LEADERS
|Starts||Montero, Alonzo, Parke 17|
|Goals||Johnson 9, Estrada 5, Montero 5|
|Assists||Rosales 7, Montero 4, Caskey 4|
|Shots||Montero 78, Johnson 47, Estrada 23, Evans 17|
|Shots On Goal||Montero 27, Johnson 16, Estrada 10|
|Fouls Caused||Montero 38, Johnson 25, Alonso 21, Scott 20|
|Fouls Suffered||Montero 47, Rosales 31, Johnson 29|
|Offsides||Johnson 25, Montero 9, Estrada 6|
|Corner Kicks||Rosales 56, Fernandez 16, Caskey 12|
|Cautions||Johnson 5, Montero 4, Scott 4|
|Ejections||Hurtado 1, Fernandez 1, Montero 1|
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: Sounders play in the championship match of the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday at Sporting Kansas City, play at San Jose Aug. 11 and return to Seattle Aug. 18 to meet the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(9-5-7, 34 points, MLS; 2-1 CCL; 4-0 U.S. Open Cup)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||D||0-0||2-1-1|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KONG||W||2-0||7-1-1|
|6/26||&at San Jose||7:30||Webcast||W||1-0||3-0-0|
|6/30||^at New England||4:30||KONG||D||2-2||7-5-5|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||D||2-2||8-5-7|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN2||—||—||—|
|8/8||&at Sport KC||6:00||TBD||—||—||—|
|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; &=U.S. Open Cup
Spot on, Art, I hope Pete Carroll listens.
I personally can’t wait to see Wilson run the 1st unit. He’s looking great so far, quick on his feet, good decisions, bullet passes downfield, confident.
And, we’re not alone. Here’s the results of a Seattle Times poll asking the question which Seahawk players or units have stood out so far in pre-season:
Matt Flynn 7.69% (23 votes)
Russell Wilson 67.89% (203 votes)
Marshawn Lynch 3.34% (10 votes)
Seahawks pass defense 21.07% (63 votes)
Total Votes: 299
Carroll knows better, Obi, than to play to popular sentiment, but he’s always been a risk-taker in personnel. I’ve never seen him in Seattle quite as jacked about a single player as Wilson. Might make him a fool, but he lessens that chance with a start of Wilson.
Coach Bubbles (you got to love PC) has to walk his talk and give Wilson time with the first unit. The kid has earned the opportunity
Odd situation, but Carroll wanted it, so he has to follow through,
Have to agree Art! I was in the get some-reps-and-continuity-for-Flynn camp until last night. Wilson looks awesome, and individual performance aside, the timing for the whole team looks better when he’s in. Even if the hawks went 500 this season they would be a blast to watch with him in control.
It is interesting to consider however that if 1. TO caught the perfectly thrown TD pass from Flynn and if 2. Wilson’s horribly underthrown TD catch against the Titans had turned out differently, this controversy would not have nearly as much legs.
Lots of if-thens in exhibition play, but when you do QBs in threes there’s never enough game or pratice time for thorough evals. Carroll is definitely out there in this one because Flynn will take it hard if he is a backup AGAIN, even if he gets starter’s money. I think they will go with Flynn against AZ, but it will get wild if Wilson lights it up vs. KC.
Flynn has been playing football his entire life and should be used to the idea that someone can come in and take over his job, by now. The talk about him being negatively affected by that shouldn’t be as much of an issue. He needs to come in and demand the job with his performance and he hasn’t been horrible, but he wasn’t good on Saturday either. It’s life as a professional athelete. If he doesn’t prove himself, he knows it’s on him.
Flynn has spent a lot of his football life in college and the NFL on the sidelines watching someone else play quarterback. Everyone refers to his playing behind Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but how about being the Peach Bowl MVP as a soph for LSU as an emergency starter and then going back to holding the clipboard as a junior while JaMarcus Russell started the next season?
One of the intangibles that Matt Flynn brings is an inordinate amount of patience with a willingness to be quiet when things don’t go his way. Whatever Carroll decides on his QB situation, don’t expect Flynn to complain if Wilson is picked as the starter. That’s just not his way.
Why not? It’s still a preseason game and, no, you don’t have to have your starters named with two games to play before they start counting. That’s why it’s called a competition. Let’s see what Wilson can do with the first unit next weekend at KC. If he’s not ready, plug Flynn back in and call him your season-opening starter.
I realize that NFL custom is to go with your ones in the third fake game, but is not customary to put a third-rounder into competition with two veterans. Customs are not rules. It’s like the nonsense about having broadcasters not discuss a no-hitter in progress. That isn’t in the Constitution, the Magna Carta or J.P. Patches Clean Plate Club. Carroll may be nuts, but he’s got to play the hand.
Gotta go with Flynn Art. I think Flynn has looked slightly better than Wilson, and he has the advantage of some experience versus being straight out of college. Got to go with Flynn until Flynn proves to make bad decisions. Saturday, I believe he was the victim of having to play the first quarter with T.O; otherwise his numbers would have looked much better.
The misconnections with TO were a mixed bag. The first back shoulder throw wasn’t a good choice because the CB wasn’t over-pursuing, that’s why TO went for the back of the endzone where he was wide open. There were other routes that he ran wrong but 3/5 were bad throws or decisions by Flynn and the other 2 were on TO. They were all miscommunications but it wasn’t all TO. You have to hold Flynn to some of them.
TO did drop that wide open TD pass. I’ll give you that though. Had he caught that, it would look a bit different, but I think Wilson would’ve made more out of the first broken pockets and wouldn’t have held the ball as long as Flynn.
Why does everyone keep on making the Flynn-didn’t-have-all-his-weapons excuse? Wilson doesn’t either. Yes, he’s playing against the second unit defense, but with the talent of his second unit offense. And doesn’t that level the playing field? Or, is there some little known rule that the second unit offense is always superior to the other team’s second unit defense?
In this league, where the competition is fierce and the difference between a win and a loss often comes down to a play or two, Wilson is far more dynamic of the two, and deserves a chance to state his case.
Flynn plays, in practice, with the starting first-teamers. He gets 2nd teamers in-game. Wilson practices with 2nd and 3rd teamers. He gets 2nd and 3rd teamers in-game. That’s the problem.
So Flynn – the likely regular season starter – then plays the second half being protected by 2nd and 3rd stringers. That would be really intelligent.
The first string didn’t protect him well, according to Carroll, so what’s the difference?
I believe that Flynn will be the starting QB on opening day and thus needs to start and play the first half on Friday. I’m impressed so far by Wilson, but I cannot see going with a rookie QB to start the season. Our defense isn’t THAT good yet.
start Flynn, as soon as he goes down, Wilson won’t relinquish the job. #12thMan
If that’s the case, then why not start him now? The idea that Matt Flynn would lose the job to Wilson and never get it back if he were to get injured, should right away say that Wilson should be in now. Why wait for an injury?
The thought of starting Flynn over Wilson is intriguing, but there is no way the Hawks should eat a 3-year, $26-million contract before allowing Flynn a chance to start a meaningful game. Giving Wilson a year to learn the system from the sidelines will only help his career down the road. Let’s remember that Flynn has only started a pair of games. If memory serves me correctly, it took the most successful quarterback in Seahawks history almost a full season before he looked NFL ready.
No reason to jump ship on the Bayou sensation just yet.
“Only” $10 million of that contract is guaranteed, Adam, so the Hawks aren’t on the hook for the other $16 million. Yes, his contract does give Flynn an advantage over Wilson as far as Paul Allen and his accountants are concerned, but Pete Carroll isn’t a CPA. He’ll go with whoever he thinks he can win with.