The sense from the Sounders is that tonight’s home game against the L.A. Galaxy is a big one.
Coach Sigi Schmid has said it’s a chance for Seattle to measure itself against the defending MLS Cup champion, that it’s the type of game that can help push Sounders FC to the next level, that his players can’t get fired up enough about it and much more along those lines.
Midfielder Brad Evans said the team wants the points, badly.
The comments this week out of L.A., which has a 5-0-1 head-to-head advantage in MLS games the past two years, are much different. In this ESPNLA.com story, Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee said it’s not “one of the bigger” rivalries. Coach Bruce Arena said media tend to make every game a rivalry. Pat Noonan, who’s been on both sides, said he doesn’t think it’s a rivalry yet.
Actions might speak louder than words when it comes to the weight of this one, especially in the context of L.A. having a nationally televised game on the weekend against New York (which will be without the injured Thierry Henry and suspended Rafa Marquez).
According to reports, the most recent from ProSoccerTalk, David Beckham and Robbie Keane will be rested Wednesday and didn’t make the trip to Seattle. (Without worrying about the midweek game, Beckham and his wife were able to take in the Lakers-Nuggets NBA playoff game last night and got some face time.)
The Galaxy won’t be DP-less, however, as Landon Donovan did make the trip according to ESPNLA, ProSoccerTalk and others (this Soccer America report is apparently mistaken when it comes to Donovan).
On a different note, goalkeeper Josh Saunders, according to the Los Angeles Times, is out indefinitely after being enrolled in Major League Soccer’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.
What do you think? Rivalry or no?
Let’s get to some links:
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— Simon Borg of MLSsoccer.com has been suspended seven days for controversial comments regarding female MLS fans. Here’s the statement from the league.
— Here’s an interview with Sounders Women’s coach Michelle French. Members of the team will take part in a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX today at Garfield High School.
— I linked to this a while ago, but here’s a follow-up on the Barcelona summer camp that will be coming to area. Looks like they’ll be Aug. 27-31 at Robinswood Park and you can register here.
— Here’s an interesting look at salaries of professional sports teams. The Sounders’ payroll comes in at No. 253.