The Home Depot Center. The StubHub Center.
Call it whatever you want, it hasn’t been a welcoming venue to Sounders FC — well, at least not against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Chivas USA is another matter, as always.
Seattle is 1-5-1 in the stadium against L.A., 0-5-1 in its last six. The team’s only win came in 2009, when the Galaxy were down to 10 men after a red card to David Beckham. The Sounders have been outscored 8-0 in their last three trips, all losses, including a 3-0 whipping in the first leg of the 2012 Western Conference finals and a 4-0 thrashing in May (the worst defeat in franchise history).
“We really don’t talk about, ‘It’s been this or it’s been that… Or it’s been so long,’ or anything like that,” said coach Sigi Schmid. “We just focus on the game at hand, the game we’re about to play.”
So is it a hostile environment?
“No, not really,” said midfielder Brad Evans. “You expect it, when they score goals, to be loud, but it doesn’t even come close to what we have up here. It’s a non-issue down there.”
So what has accounted for such poor results?
“I don’t know,” Evans said. “They’ve had our number on a number of occasions and they’re a very good team. They know how to play on that field. It’s a big pitch. It plays bigger than it actually is, just because of the way the stadium is set up, and they tend to use that well to their advantage. They have fast outside mids and fast outside backs that push forward, and Juninho is not afraid to hit 60-70 yard balls and push forward. It’s an experienced team, it’s a good team, and one of the best in the league, so it’s up to us to buckle down and play our game.”
Added Schmid: “I think we’ve had a couple of poor performances there. I think we’ve also been unlucky with some performances there. I remember going in and … we missed a PK. We’ve had some good opportunities and didn’t put them away. It’s a matter of the ball bouncing a little bit differently for us.”
Here is a look at the results…
* * *
|Aug. 15, 2009||W||2-0||MLS regular season||11v10 after Beckham red card|
|July 4, 2010||L||1-3||MLS regular season||Fell to 4-8-3 at midway point|
|Nov. 7, 2010||L||1-2||Conference semifinals||Lost 1-3 on aggregate|
|July 4, 2011||T||0-0||MLS regular season||Montero had PK saved|
|Oct. 28, 2012||L||0-1||MLS regular season||EJ suffered hamstring injury|
|Nov. 11, 2012||L||0-3||Conference finals||The RSL nightmare relived|
|May 26, 2013||L||0-4||MLS regular season||Matched team’s worst loss|