Are you ready for some football?!
Yep, the Sounders are back it on Monday (yes Monday) against hated rivals LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field. It's the first meeting of the two Western Conference powerhouses this season with the last encounter coming in a 1-1 draw to end the 2013 league schedule.
Here to fill you in on all things Galaxy is their Insider and my good buddy, Adam Serrano.
Dangerman – Robbie Keane
As Robbie Keane goes, the LA Galaxy goes.
The Galaxy’s chief attacking force, the Irishman makes the LA attack tick in a number of ways Although Keane’s disgust for the CenturyLink Field turf is well-documented, he truly gets up for matches against Seattle as he’s tallied seven goals and three assists in seven meetings against Sounders FC in all competitions.
And Keane has shown an ability to use the turf to his advantage as evidenced by his stellar off the carpet finish against Seattle last October.
Player To Keep An Eye On – Gyasi Zardes
The player that promised to “blow people’s minds” with his talent is finally starting to put it together in his sophomore season in MLS. Zardes has taken ahold of the second striker position behind Keane with a career-high six goals to date while also adding an assist. With Zardes’ speed combining with Keane’s playmaking ability, LA may have finally found their forward pairing going into the stretch run.
Favorite Stat – All Black Everything
The LA Galaxy will be donning their retro-inspired black jerseys on Monday and the team’s record in those kits is absolutely sublime. In four games in the black kits, the Galaxy are 3-0-1 with an impressive 13 goals scored and only three allowed. Seven of those goals were scored by Keane.
As good as their record in the black unis is, their lone draw came in LA’s 1-1 draw with Seattle last October.
Moment of the Month
LA have been humming along as of late, but they saw their eight game unbeaten run snapped last Saturday with a 2-1 defeat to Sporting Kansas City.
The Galaxy found themselves down early after failing to handle Sporting’s early blitz and conceding on two poor defensive errors. However, the industry of young LA Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson IV –who was making his MLS debut—helped create an opportunity for Keane, who scored from close range to spark a Galaxy rally that fell just short.
Not only did LA see their unbeaten run snapped last weekend, but the club were trounced by Manchester United 7-0 in front of nearly 87,000 fans at the Rose Bowl Stadium. Even though that stunning defeat came in a friendly, you can bet that the Galaxy will be ready to get back to league play on Monday.
A Growing Rivalry
It’s not Cascadia, but when the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC face off, it’s truly must-see television.
Both teams may not readily admit it, but the two have developed a healthy rivalry since Seattle came into the league in 2009. Since Seattle’s inception—or rebirth if you will—the two clubs have competed for titles, Designated Players and the honor of being considered the jewel of the Western Conference.
The long history of competitive matches between the two teams makes Monday’s first matchup between them that much more exciting. After all, having three games between Seattle and LA down the stretch run? Yes please.
Three Thoughts On The Match:
1) This game should be a major statement match for the Galaxy, who still harbor Supporters’ Shield aspirations. If they’re going to complete with Seattle, they’ll need points at CenturyLink.
2) Landon Donovan may be the league’s all-time leading goal scorer, but he’s inconsistent as of late. He’ll need to impress for LA to beat Seattle.
3) If this match is as successful and as entertaining as meetings between the two teams usually are, will MLS start instituting more Monday Night Soccer matchups?
Be sure to follow Adam on Twitter: Follow @LAGalaxyInsider