Sounders to Take On LA Galaxy in Conference Finals

Sounders to Take On LA Galaxy in Conference Finals

The Seattle Sounders will take on the LA Galaxy for the right to go to MLS Cup 2014.  The first game will be played in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 23 with the return leg to be played in Seattle on November 30.  Here is a quick preview:

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

Regular Season Record: 20-10-4, 64 points
Top Scorer: Obafemi Martins – 17 goals
How They Got Here: Advanced past FC Dallas in Western Conference Semifinals (1-1) on away-goals

Sounders FC enjoyed its most successful season in MLS this year, winning the Supporters’ Shield and the Lamar U.S. Open Cup along the way. Seattle’s 20 wins (most in the post-shootout era) put the club in rare air, and is hoping to continue that trend with a remarkable treble, something that has never been accomplished before in league history.

To take that next step into the Cup Final, Sigi Schmid and co. will have to advance past the red-hot LA Galaxy. Despite only picking up one point against the Sounders in the final two matches of the regular season, Bruce Arena’s club smoked Real Salt Lake in the semifinals by an aggregate 5-0 scoreline.

Key Player: Obafemi Martins

The talismanic forward has been Seattle’s everything man this season, knocking in a whopping 17 goals and contributing 13 assists. Known for showing up in big moments, Martins was integral in both of Seattle’s goals in LA on 10/19 and assisted on Marco Pappa’s game-winner in the Supporters’ Shield-clinching win on 10/25. The Nigerian is right up there in the MVP discussions and will be vital if Sounders FC is to advance to its first ever MLS Cup Final.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Regular Season Record: 17-7-10, 61 points
Top Scorer: Robbie Keane – 19 goals
How They Got Here: Advanced past Real Salt Lake in Western Conference Semifinals (5-0) on goals scored

In typical LA Galaxy fashion, the club started slowly this season and turned it on over the remaining two-thirds. After winning only two of its first eight matches, the Galaxy didn’t lose consecutive contests the rest of the year. Led by the duo of Robbie Keane and the soon-to-be retired Landon Donovan, LA’s attack was something special all year as it recorded a league-high 69 goals. The defense was also very consistent, allowing 37 goals, tied for the fewest in the league with D.C. United.

Sounders FC and the Galaxy split their three regular-season meetings of 2014. LA took the first 3-0 back in July, and then in the home-and-home series to close the season in October, the sides drew 2-2 in LA before the Sounders’ emphatic 2-0 win at CenturyLink Field the following week.

Key Player: Landon Donovan

Many would argue that Robbie Keane has been the Galaxy’s player of the season and a worthy MLS MVP candidate, but Donovan has been their emotional catalyst. With the 32-year-old hanging up his boots following the season, reaching the MLS Cup Final for the legendary American has become the club’s goal. His performance against Real Salt Lake in the second leg (three goals and an assist) proved just how hungry he is to get one more ring before he calls it quits. The Sounders will need to be ready.