CARSON, Calif.–Welcome to The Home Depot Center, where it’s a lovely, sunny day. Always is, it seems.
It could be a special night here, where Robbie Rogers is expected to be available for the Los Angeles Galaxy. As the league’s first active and openly gay player, his participation could be a transcendent and pioneering moment for the league but also Americans sports as a whole.
That would be enough, by any measure, but there is also a big game that will be going on — a rematch of the Western Conference finals. The Sounders have won three straight and are unbeaten in six. It’s very possible Seattle, which is 0-4-1 against L.A. here since 2010, could start all three of its designated players (Obafemi Martins, Shalrie Joseph, Mauro Rosales) for the first time this season.
The Galaxy has lost three of four and will be without leading scorer Mike Magee, who was traded to Chicago to acquire Rogers’ MLS rights. L.A. hasn’t lost two home games in a row since 2010, which could happen tonight.
These teams are a combined 9-0-4 when scoring first and 0-7-0 when conceding first.
I’ll post lineups here when they become available.
Sounders FC lineup: GK Michael Gspurning, D DeAndre Yedlin, D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, D Djimi Traore, D Leo Gonzalez, M Mauro Rosales, M Servando Carrasco, M Shalrie Joseph, M Brad Evans, F Eddie Johnson, F Obafemi Martins
Sounders FC bench: GK Marcus Hahnemann, D Zach Scott, D Marc Burch, M Mario Martinez, M Alex Caskey, F Lamar Neagle, F David Estrada
LA Galaxy lineup: GK Carlo Cudicini; D Sean Franklin, D Omar Gonzalez, D A.J. DeLaGarza, D Greg Cochrane; M Landon Donovan, M Marcelo Sarvas, M Juninho, M Michael Stephens; F Robbie Keane, F Gyasi Zardes
LA Galaxy bench: GK Brian Rowe, D Leonardo, M Rafael Garcia, M Hector Jimenez, M Robbie Rogers, F Jose Villarreal, F Charlie Rugg
NOTES: This is Sounders FC’s 15th different starting lineup for the 15th game in all competitions. Johnson and Martins start together for just the second time. All three DPs (Martins, Joseph, Rosales) start together for the first time. Carrasco earns a fifth-straight start, which extended his longest run. Neagle dropped to the bench despite three goals in the past two games. Oh yeah, Rogers is indeed on the bench for the Galaxy. There can’t have been many more anticipated subs in MLS history (David Beckham’s debut is all that comes to mind).