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Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Cup Playoffs Match Preview


9:20 pm ET, Sunday, November 30
TV: ESPN | WatchESPN | ESPN Deportes | RDS2 |, in Canada

The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders conclude their heady end-of-season rivalry with the deciding match in the Western Conference Championship of the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs, presented by AT&T, Sunday at CenturyLink Field. The Galaxy take a one-goal advantage into the game thanks to a 1-0 victory last weekend at StubHub Center on a Marcelo Sarvas goal, as they shoot for a third MLS Cup title game appearance in the last four years. It would be a mark of revenge for LA after the Sounders claimed the Supporters’ Shield with a win over the Galaxy in the regular-season finale. Should the Sounders overcome the deficit to advance, it would put them one game away from an unprecedented “treble” after already winning the Shield and US Open Cup.


REFEREE: Jair Marrufo.

AR1 (bench): Eric Boria; AR2 (opposite): Corey Rockwell;
4th: Hilario Grajeda


LA 6 wins, 21 goals … SEA 4 wins, 16 goals … Ties 5

2014 HEAD-TO-HEAD: SEA 1 win, 4 goals … LA 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 1
7/28: SEA 0, LA 3 (Zardes 8; Donovan 18; Ishizaki 36)
10/25: SEA 2, LA 0 (Pappa 85, 95+)

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: LA 4 wins, 8 GF … SEA 1 win, 3 GF … Ties 0


• Sounders FC had their goalless streak extended to 216 minutes in the first leg loss, the seventh-longest scoring drought in a single MLS Cup Playoffs campaign in league history. The record is 279 minutes without a goal, by the Columbus Crew in 2002.
• “We have always said to our team, we got to put ourselves in position in game one so that we can wrap it up in game two. We’ve always came up with a positive result when we’ve had game two at home. Last time we were in this position, we lost here 3-0 so this is a lot better.”
• Said midfielder Gonzalo Pineda: “I think we need to be a little more aggressive and play forward earlier because sometimes we make too many touches in the midfield and we need to play forward with Oba [Martins] and Clint [Dempsey]. But I think that is a part of these kind of games. When they are at home, they try to push too much, and maybe we need to be smarter but at home, we will be different.”
• Sounders FC made a change in the midfield as Osvaldo Alonso was held out following a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 10 against FC Dallas. Micheal Azira took his place.
• “I thought Michael did well,” Schmid said. “The reason why I subbed him out at the end was because he was running out of gas a little bit. We wanted to get Andy Rose in there to help us out with his heading. Gonzalo [Pineda] dropped in and helped us defend as well. Again, offensively at times, we need to do a better job. Defensively, I thought we did what we wanted to do.”
• Lamar Neagle was also unavailable because of personal issues, but Schmid indicated he should be available for the second leg.
• “Certainly those guys help our team,” Schmid said. “Neagle has nine goals and nine assists, so he’s someone that helps us on the offensive end. And, obviously, Ozzie is Ozzie. Those guys we hope will both be available next week and should make things better.”
• Said defender Zach Scott: “Both those guys are integral parts of our team, but we’ve never been about just one person. This entire year, guys have cycled in and out when there’s been injuries or national team call-ups. We’re excited to have Ozzie and Lamar back, but we expect to put in a good performance regardless of who’s out there.”


• The Galaxy have yet to allow a goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs this season, with shutouts in each of their three games. Chicago in 2003 and New England in 2007 also posted three consecutive shutouts to reach MLS Cup – each of those clubs then lost in the championship match. The Galaxy also extended their shutout streak at StubHub Center in MLS Cup Playoffs matches to 316 minutes – their last postseason goal allowed in Carson coming in MLS Cup 2012 (a 3-1 win vs. Houston).
• The Galaxy extended their overall undefeated streak at StubHub Center to 21 games with the first leg victory. They last lost in Carson in the MLS regular season opener in March; the streak includes a win in the CONCACAF Champions League, two “road” victories vs. Chivas USA, and two wins this year in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
• Marcelo Sarvas scored his second career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs and his second in as many matches. But he was forced off in the 69th minute with a hip injury. “I think it’s a very important goal,” said Sarvas. “It’s a very important win, could be more but we cannot play with that, we had to play with what we had and we got a 1-0. ... I don’t think it’s something that would keep me out of the next game.”
• Tommy Meyer moved into central defense, making his first start since Sept. 14, after Leonardo was forced off early through injury in the second leg vs. Real Salt Lake. A.J. DeLaGarza shifted to right back in place of Dan Gargan, and recorded his second assist of the postseason.
• “Tommy hasn’t played in a long time. He came in two weeks ago against Salt Lake and was excellent. He was very good again,” Donovan said. “There were a couple of plays that were a little dicey, but you expect that from a guy that hasn’t played in a long time. I thought he was terrific.”
• Stefan Ishikazi made his second consecutive start in the midfield, ahead of Baggio Husidic. “[Ishizaki] had a lot of drive on his side. We said at the start of the game we have to switch and play quickly on Ishi’s side,” Robbie Keane said. “Overall, it was a good performance for us. They came and tried to keep it tight, trying to catch us on the counterattack and get a goal, but they didn’t manage to do it.” 



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Seattle Sounders FCLA Galaxy
37Games Played37
52Goals Conceded37
203Shots on Target213
493Fouls committed437
506Fouls suffered421

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