Three Key Match-Ups: at LA Galaxy

Three Key Match-Ups: at LA Galaxy

The Sounders will play the Galaxy for the first time this season and the first time since the 2012 Western Conference Finals.

Sounders FC @ LA Galaxy
May 26, 2013, 8 pm PT, The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
TV/Radio: ESPN2; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; ESPN Deportes (Spanish)

Sounders FC meets the LA Galaxy Sunday night in a nationally televised match between the top two teams in MLS over the past five seasons. The Galaxy top that list at 70-34-35 with two MLS Cup titles while the Sounders are second at 63-35-40 with three US Open Cup crowns to their credit.

Here are three key matchups in the battle for west coast supremacy.

Robbie Keane vs. Djimi Traore

It’s two veterans with Premier League experience going head-to-head in the LA attack as former Leeds, Tottenham and Liverpool forward Keane squares off with former Liverpool, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth defender Traore. Both have been key to their clubs in their own capacities, with Keane leading the Galaxy with 16 goals in 2012 and Traore anchoring the Seattle defense so far this season. Seattle has four shutouts in their last six matches while Keane’s return to the lineup after a three-game absence triggered a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on May 15. He has missed six of the last nine matches to injury, but started both of the last two for LA.

Eddie Johnson vs. Omar Gonzalez

On Monday, Johnson and Gonzalez will be teammates with the US National Team as they prepare for World Cup qualifying matches against Jamaica on June 7 in Kingston, Panama on June 11 at CenturyLink Field and Honduras on June 18 at Utah’s Rio Tinto Stadium. On Sunday, however, they will be fierce rivals on the field at The Home Depot Center. In the six-foot-five Gonzalez, Johnson will have a formidable foe in the air on Sunday, but Johnson has shown a tremendous burst of speed of late and that could help him elude the fifth-year defender.

Sigi Schmid vs. Bruce Arena

It’s the top two coaches in MLS history meeting for the 17th time in their illustrious MLS careers, splitting the first 16 at 6-6-4. Schmid is the all-time victories leader with 176 regular season wins to his credit, winning two MLS Cup titles, four US Open Cups and one CONCACAF Champions Cup. Arena is second in MLS with 149 career wins and has won four MLS Cups – two with the Galaxy and two with DC United – one US Open Cup and one CONCACAF Champions Cup.

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