Galaxy prepare for a tough road battle against the Sounders

October 1, 2015

Carson, Calif. -- For sports fanatics in Los Angeles, or anywhere in the U.S. for that matter, a Sunday in Fall usually means vegging out in front of our t.v. or computer or tablet -- or all three -- watching hours of football. This Sunday, however, we may need to take a break for a couple of hours and watch the sport the rest of the world calls football, as two of MLS' premier teams will clash when the Los Angeles Galaxy travel up north to take on their rivals, the Seattle Sounders, at CenturyLink Stadium.

This game is a must-see for several reasons. First, the standings are incredibly close. The margin between first place (LA) and fourth place (Seattle) is just four points with less than a month left in the season. While LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena claims the race for the Supporters Shield, given to the team with the best record, is not on his mind, his players say it’s definitely on theirs.

“It’s huge," said first-year midfielder Sebastian Lletget.  "Huge. You have to think ahead, you know. You want to think you’re going to make it to the end and you’ll use that, your home advantage. It’s huge.”

It’s also an intriguing matchup because of who will now be on the field Sunday compared to the teams' earlier August 9 meeting in LA when the Galaxy defeated the Sounders, 3-1.  Since then, the Sounders have made some key acquisitions. Veterans Nelson Valdez and Andreas Ivanschitz have helped the Sounders go undefeated in their last five league matches.  Also, Clint Dempsey, perhaps the Sounders best player, is back from injury.

Dempsey will test an LA squad that Galaxy defenseman A.J. DeLaGarza says needs to toughen up: “All around the field we’re too soft….we’re too soft and we’re not winning tackles.”

Communicating on defense is not going to be easy inside of perhaps the loudest stadium in MLS, CenturyLink. It is expected to be stuffed to capacity with around 45,000 rowdy Sounders fans rooting on last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners. But the LA Galaxy has a coach who is used to these types of environments, as Bruce Arena has the most playoff victories in MLS history (30). Seattle’s coach, Sigi Schmid, is just as accomplished. The former UCLA head coach has racked up more regular season victories than anyone in MLS history (221).

This is a heavyweight matchup worth tuning in for even if that means maybe missing a few snaps . . . and we’re still about a month away from the MLS playoffs.

By Brix Fowler
Contributing Writer for

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