Ozzie Alonso

Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy

MLS Regular Season
Monday, July 28; 7 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: ESPN2; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; ESPN Deportes Radio, 1490 AM (Spanish)

There is a unique atmosphere that surrounds matches between geographic rivals. It’s not drastically different, however, from the feeling heading into a meeting between two teams that have squared off with the frequency and intensity of Sounders FC and the LA Galaxy.

“This is a game that they circled on their calendar. It’s an important game for them. It’s an important game for us,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “They’re hard-fought, intense matches. There have been blowouts, but most of the games have been tight and competitive.”

Over the last five-and-a-half seasons, no teams have outperformed Sounders FC and the LA Galaxy. Since Seattle entered the league in 2009, the Galaxy has posted a record of 87-45-47 for 308 points, just four points ahead of Seattle’s record of 86-48-46 for 304 points.

Head-to-head, the two teams have met 18 times in regular season, MLS Cup playoff and Open Cup matches. LA holds the edge in the series at 8-6-4, including a 5-3-4 record in MLS regular season meetings. While Seattle has ousted LA twice in the U.S. Open Cup, the Galaxy has ended Sounders FC’s season in the playoffs twice.

“It’s a team that’s been a thorn in our side as we’ve tried to advance and win a championship here,” Sounders FC defender Zach Scott said. “So we’re looking forward to continuing to play well, continuing to get points and hopefully opening up that gap on the top of the table.”

Seattle and LA have had some star power on their rosters over the course of six seasons, with high-level Designated Players and a mix of experienced veterans and rising talents that have kept both near the top of the standings each year. However, the edge that they have over many teams is with their Head Coaches. Schmid and Bruce Arena are the two winningest coaches in MLS history and for good reasons.

Both coaches were also vastly successful at the college level before moving to the professional ranks. There, they have been master tacticians while also managing supreme talent and developing young stars.

That has translated to championships for both coaches. When they are in the same conference and face each other as often as Seattle and LA have squared off, it creates a competitive environment.

“With the coaches we have and the players we have, wherever we are on the table, it’s always going to be a good game between us,” said Seattle forward Chad Barrett, who has seen both sides of the rivalry after playing with the Galaxy in 2011 and 2012. “We both want to prove we’re the best on the playground.”



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