“To have a historic moment, you’ve got to create it,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said ahead of the second leg of the Western Conference Championship series against the LA Galaxy on Sunday. “We’ve created it, now we just need to have a historic moment.”
The Sounders are looking to overcome a 3-0 deficit accrued in the first leg of the series last Sunday at the Home Depot Center when Robbie Keane netted two goals and Mike Magee added another. It will take a remarkable comeback on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field but one the Sounders are prepared to mount.
This week the team has embraced the underdog mentality.
“We don’t have a chance, but we want to use it,” goalkeeper Michael Gspurning said, loosely translating a German saying. “I don’t feel any pressure. Nobody is expecting something from us. Everybody is writing us off.”
The Sounders may have history tilted against them, as it is rare for teams to come back from deficits this great in knockout tournaments. However, they also have a bit of history on their side, as they have played very well in their two home meetings against the Galaxy this year, winning 2-0 on May 2 and 4-0 on August 5.
That August result may do something to lift the confidence of the Sounders, but Gspurning sees it another way.
“Maybe it would be better if we didn’t have that result. Now they’ve been warned,” he said. “They know we are a tough team to play, especially here.”
If the Sounders outscore the Galaxy by three goals, they will force a 30-minute overtime period. A win by four goals will give Seattle the series victory, advancing to the MLS Cup final for the first time in the club’s four-year history in MLS.
However, it is a 90-minute match, so throughout the week Schmid has reminded his team that the lead doesn’t need to be overtaken in the first five minutes, but rather over the course of the 90 minutes.
“We have to be smart in biding our time and waiting for some good opportunities. It’s a bit of a cat and mouse game,” midfielder Brad Evans said. “We have to go for it, but at the same time we can’t risk taking another one."
With a full week between games, the Sounders can't wait for the opportunity to take another step closer to accomplishing their ultimate goal of winning MLS Cup.
“We know we need to score three goals. We don’t want to say we are confident we can do it. The important thing is to do it,” forward Fredy Montero said. “Less talk and more action.”
Kickoff is slated for 6 pm from CenturyLink Field on Sunday with television coverage live on ESPN. Tickets are still available at SoundersFC.com.