Three Key Match-Ups: at Los Angeles Galaxy
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Another huge match for the Sounders as they are in Los Angeles to take on the Galaxy.
Whenever Sounders FC meets the LA Galaxy, there is a certain competitive drama of two of the top teams in MLS squaring off. Saturday night at the StubHub Center is a perfect example, as Seattle and LA meet for the second time this season with storylines galore.
Here are three matchups worth noting in the match.
Sigi Schmid vs. Bruce Arena
Over the years, the head coaches for Sounders FC and the LA Galaxy have been consistent adversaries and have always provided an interesting chess match. This time is no different, as Schmid has his team on a five-game winning streak to put it atop the Supporters’ Shield standings while Arena has the hottest player in the league in Robbie Keane at his disposal. Schmid has many lineup options available and just how he shapes and molds that team is intriguing enough. That Landon Donovan’s availability is up in the air for Arena means that the LA Head Coach will have some lineup choices as well. Arena leads the all-time series between the two winningest coaches in MLS history at 7-6-4. Schmid would no doubt savor equalizing the series on Saturday.
Obafemi Martins vs. Omar Gonzalez
Schmid has many options available at forward, but the most common denominator is Martins and his matchup with the LA center backs, namely Gonzalez, is an interesting one. Seattle had trouble with the Galaxy’s high line in the first meeting in May, but the cohesion is much better within the group this time around. If Sounders FC can beat that offside trap on Saturday, there will be scoring chances to be had and Martins figures to be at the center of them. For all of the aerial prowess of Gonzalez, he won’t be able to keep up with Martins on the ground if Seattle is able to get him the ball in space.
Robbie Keane vs. Seattle’s backline
Few players in MLS can exploit a defense the way Keane can, tirelessly seeking any advantage he can exploit. Slowing him down won’t be the charge of one man, but the entire defense, as he pops up at different spots in the attacking half of the field to create his scoring chances. He will have the ball at his feet regularly and it is up to the entire backline to keep tabs on him when he is off the ball too. The Irish international has 13 goals and 11 assists in just 17 matches, including two hat tricks, and when he starts, LA is 10-3-4.