Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Sounders take aim at top seed Galaxy
by Ridge Mahoney, October 29th, 2010 12:34AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] In just its second MLS season, Seattle (14-10-6) has established itself as a model franchise by qualifying for the playoffs again while setting a league attendance record. It can further burnish its image with a conference semifinal series against Supporters’ Shield winner Los Angeles (18-7-5), which thumped the Sounders twice in their regular season meetings.

GOALKEEPING. Whatever else happens in this series, the goalkeeping should be reliable. Kasey Keller and Donovan Ricketts each recorded 11 shutouts, with the edge in goals-allowed going to Ricketts (0.90) over Keller (1.15). Both will be tested often by the quality crossing and incisive through balls that are features of two offenses that scored a combined 83 goals.

Edge: Even.

DEFENSE. Despite a stingy defense (26 goals allowed, second-best in MLS) the Galaxy is unclear about who will be the playoff partner for centerback Omar Gonzalez, already among the league’s elite in just his second season. Veteran Gregg Berhlater has looked slow since coming back from injury, so the spot may go to Leandro or one of the two speedsters, A.J. DeLaGarza or Sean Franklin. If there’s opportunity, left back Todd Dunivant will whip in the crosses. Seattle’s central combination of Jeff Parke and Pat Ianni has improved during the season but will be severely tested by the Galaxy, as will right back James Riley.

Edge: Los Angeles.

MIDFIELD. Nathan Sturgis has stabilized a Seattle midfield jarred by the departure of Freddie Ljungberg and injuries to Brad Evans to mesh nicely with the busy, tough and smart Oswaldo Alonso. The searing speed on the flanks of Steve Zakuani (10 goals, 6 assists) and Sanna Nyassi (2 goals, 3 assists) will be trouble if the Galaxy are sloppy. To complement Landon Donovan (league leader in assists with 16) and David Beckham, the Galaxy has many options, yet only veteran Eddie Lewis, who is retiring at the end of the season, is truly left-sided. Dema Kovalenko and Chris Birchall are the destroyers, Juninho plays nice balls into the seams.

Edge: Seattle.

FORWARDS. Edson Buddle just missed the Golden Boot by scoring 17 goals but his production tailed off after the World Cup, and the other options aren’t inspiring: Jovan Kirovski (four goals), Tristen Bowen (two), and Mike Magee (one). Possibly, Donovan (seven goals) plays up front, but regardless of where he plays he needs time and touches. Fredy Montero (10 goals, 10 assists) terrorized Seattle’s opponents for two-thirds of the season but is pointless in the past two months; still if he’s sharp on the ball there will be chances for Blaise Nkufo (five goals), Zakuani, and others.

Edge: Los Angeles.

COACHING. Between them, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena and Seattle headman Sigi Schmid have won four MLS Cups, and are well-steeped in playoff soccer. Both have done excellent work this season and are among the best tacticians in pressure situations.

Edge: Even.

REGULAR SEASON. The Galaxy handed the Sounders their worst defeat at Qwest Field, 4-0, in May, and won the return leg, 3-1, on the Fourth of July.

FORM. Seattle shook off an early season funk to win six and tie two of its last 10 league games. Los Angeles is a lukewarm 5-4-1 in its last 10 games and all four of those losses were at home.

PREDICTION: Galaxy, 4-2.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. U-23s fall to England's Young Lions, 1-0    
A goal by Manchster United's James Wilson in the 72nd minute gave England's U-21s a 1-0 ...
Dunn honored after getting Washington into NWSL playoffs    
The Washington Spirit's Crystal Dunn, who is running away with the NWSL scoring race, was voted ...
Breaking: Bundesliga will debut Sept. 13 on Fox    
The German Bundesliga will air for the first time on network television Sept. 13 when the ...
WCQ: Nowak leads Benna Boys against Guatemala    
The third and final knockout round of World Cup 2018 qualifying begins in Concacaf with six ...
Scouting Report: U.S. vets set for return against Peru    
The USA plays Peru Friday night in the first of two friendly games as it prepares ...
NASL Roundup: Freddy Adu ready to play again    
Freddy Adu's hopes of finding his stride at the 12th club of his professional career haven't ...
MLS: Best of August    
A memorable brother act and yet another superb double-save highlight the best moments from the games ...
What They're Saying: Charlie Stillitano    
"I really think they're true friendships. When a manager comes to my house for dinner, they ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Yes, we fear and don't know. Since they arrested people, things are very questionable with UEFA, ...
What They're Saying: Whitworth athletic director Tim Demant     
''As a Christ-centered university that believes in the value of all individuals, we are seeking to ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives