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Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy Preview

leadingMajor League Soccer returns Tuesday as the Seattle Sounders host last season’s Supporters’ Shield-winning LA Galaxy in front of what is sure to be raucous crowd at Quest Field.

“There’s a lot at stake because obviously they are the team that knocked us out of the playoffs, so we want to come out and we want to play well for that reason,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said.

Team Notes
Seattle Sounders FC
A sense of urgency has pervaded Seattle’s preseason as the expectations have risen in the franchise’s third year. Schmid presides over a roster bolstered in the offseason by the arrivals of Erik Friberg (BK Häcken, Sweden) and O’Brian White (Toronto FC).

LA Galaxy
There have been some changes in the City of Angels. With Edson Buddle leaving in the offseason to try his hand in the German 2.Bundesliga, Bruce Arena brought in Juan Pablo Angel (formerly of New York) and Chad Barrett (Toronto FC) to lead the line. With Landon Donovan and David Beckham serving up crosses, both players could be primed for big years.

OUT: FW Mike Fucito (R adductor strain); FW Nate Jaqua (hip surgery recovery); FW Michael Seamon (R leg neuritis); QUESTIONABLE: MF Steve Zakuani (hip injury); PROBABLE: MF Brad Evans (R hamstring strain)

Los Angeles
OUT: FW Adam Cristman (L knee inflammation); Dan Keat (L heel fracture); DOUBTFUL – DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee MCL sprain); QUESTIONABLE – GK Donovan Ricketts (R hamstring strain)

Keys To The Game

  • Win the middle: Osvaldo Alonso must nullify Juninho and Chris Birchall.
  • Shut out Ángel: Seattle’s defenders must not let the DP get on track in his new home.

Los Angeles

  • Cross the ball: Early crosses directed at Barrett, Ángel could cause trouble.
  • Test Jhon Kennedy Hurtado: Seattle’s Colombian CB is coming off a knee injury.

First games of the season are always the hardest to predict, but with a fit Beckham, Donovan and Angel, the Galaxy might have too much firepower for the Sounders.

Score: Seattle 1 Galaxy 2

What do you think the score will be?

Creative Commons License photo credit: luisar