Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Seattle Sounders FC will be looking to close
the gap at the top of the Western Conference table with three points against
the Los Angeles Galaxy at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
With the first-place San Jose Earthquakes out of action this weekend, the
Sounders will be hoping to take advantage and move to within seven points of
Seattle enters the match in good form having taken five points from its last
three league contests, but it was the club's impressive 3-1 over Caledonia AIA
in CONCACAF Champions League play mid-week that may have left a lasting
Rookie Andy Rose played the starring role in that affair, grabbing a goal and
adding two assists to put the Sounders in good stead heading into their
crucial weekend tilt with the Galaxy.
"You need that first goal to really settle down and once we got that it felt
like we started to dominate possession," the midfielder told the club's
official website. "Overall, I thought it was a pretty impressive first half."
After the match, head coach Sigi Schmid spoke about striking a balance between
putting in a good shift and planning for a congested fixture list in the
"For us right now we're in a tough stretch of games. So a little bit of it
was, 'Let's get the win, let's manage the game, let's not kill ourselves,'"
Schmid said. "It was great that we got the early goals and we had a three-
nothing halftime lead, so as a result the work we put in the second half was
not as great as the work we would have had to put in if we were tied or if we
were trying to make up the deficit. So from that standpoint it was good."
Sunday's match should prove to be a strong test for the Sounders though - the
Galaxy enter the match one of the hottest teams in MLS.
Los Angeles is 4-0-1 in its last five league games, claiming 13 points by a
combined score of 13-6.
Three points in Seattle would be massive for Bruce Arena's side given how
tight the playoff picture has become in the Western Conference.
The Galaxy occupy the final postseason berth, sitting fifth in West on 33
points. Seattle is tied with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on 34 points apiece, while
Chivas USA is hot on the Galaxy's heals with 26 points and three games in
hand. The Goats, who are not in action this weekend, will have four games in
hand after the weekend fixtures conclude.