LA Galaxy Preview Presented by O4 Water: LA Galaxy looking to complete season sweep over Seattle Sounders FC

The Galaxy are 3-3-2 all-time at CenturyLink Field and will face a Sounders side that is 3-0-2 in their last five matches and sit fourth in the West at 14-13-4 for 46 points.

CARSON, Calif. – The situation is quite simple for the LA Galaxy as they prepare for Sunday’s Western Conference clash with the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field (6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Deportes). Win and they’re in.

A victory over their bitter rival would give the defending MLS Cup champion Galaxy (14-9-8, 50 points) a berth in the postseason and keep them on track toward winning their first Supporters’ Shield since 2011, when they won the second of back-to-back trophies. A tie also would lift the Galaxy into the MLS Cup playoffs, but that scenario would have to depend on a number of other results around the league.

The Galaxy would rather keep it simple regarding the postseason. “That would be a nice reward for winning,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena acknowledged Friday.

Defender A.J. DeLaGarza understandably likes the position the Galaxy are in. “You always want it in your own hands,” he said. “You never want to leave it up to another team to lose or tie.

“We win and we’re in the playoffs.”

A victory and playoff berth also would go a long way toward easing the sting of a recent three-game slide in which they failed to score a goal. That marked a dubious accomplishment for a side that is tied with Toronto FC for the MLS lead in goals with 52 and is tied with the New York Red Bulls for the league’s biggest goal differential at plus 14.

That dry spell, however, finally came to an end last Sunday in a 3-2 victory over FC Dallas. Arena said he never was concerned with the club’s temporary offensive malaise.

“It’s soccer. If you haven’t noticed it’s a low-scoring sport,” he said. “There are going to be games where you don’t score. Somehow we’ve kept our heads above water, and hopefully we can do that again in Seattle.”

The Galaxy’s Robbie Keane, who had his first goal in the win over FC Dallas since scoring twice against New York City on Aug. 23, said he never had any worries about the offense either.

“I’ve been playing this game too long,” he said when asked if he ever got frustrated at the Galaxy’s lack of scoring in the mini slump. “I always say if you’re not in position, then there’s a problem. If you get into position and the ‘keeper is pulling off saves no problem, as long as you keep getting there.

“You’re always going to score.”

The Galaxy are 3-3-2 all-time at CenturyLink Field and will face a Sounders side that is 3-0-2 in their last five matches and sit fourth in the West at 14-13-4 for 46 points. Obafemi Martins, who has given the Galaxy big problems in past meetings, has scored in five consecutive matches.

But the Sounders likely will be without top defender Chad Marshall, who sprained his neck in training earlier in the week. Arena said he was sorry to see Marshall injured.

“He is a very well-liked and respected player in the league,” he said. “I’d love to see him on the field Sunday. If that could be the case that would be great. You never want to see players like Chad, who’s given so much to our league and is well-respected, to miss an important game or games with his team in the stretch run.

“We’re hopeful everything is OK and hopefully he’s back on the field. If that’s Sunday in Seattle that’s fine with us. Those kinds of guys deserve to be on the field.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS vs. LA GALAXY
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
October 4, 2015 (WEEK 31, MLS Game #317)
6:30 p.m. PT (FS1, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports GO)

Obafemi Martins scored a goal for a fifth consecutive match – matching the Sounders FC club record and two games away from the MLS all-time record – as Sounders FC remained undefeated over that stretch (3-0-2) following their 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday afternoon.

The Galaxy scored their first goals in four games, Giovani dos Santos, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard all hitting the back of the net in a 3-2 win against FC Dallas on Sunday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy went 290 minutes between goals, tied for the sixth-longest goalless drought in the club’s 20-year history.

The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and the Galaxy have won the first two. Alan Gordon scored the game’s lone goal midway through the first half to lead the Galaxy to victory April 12 at StubHub Center. Giovani dos Santos scored his first MLS goal and added an assist as the Galaxy rolled to a 3-1 win Aug. 9 at StubHub Center.

Sounders FC have not won at the Galaxy since 2009, now 11 trips in league and MLS Cup play without a win.
The teams have met three times in the last five seasons in the MLS Cup Playoffs, including in the Western Conference Championship a year ago, when the Galaxy won on away goals after a 1-0 win at StubHub Center and a 2-1 Sounders FC victory at CenturyLink Field.

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