Seattle Sounders FC
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena not surprised by snow covered pitch in final training session at CenturyLink Field
SEATTLE -- When the LA Galaxy arrived at CenturyLink Field for their final training session ahead of their Western Conference Championship second leg match against Seattle Sounders FC, the pristine practice surface that they were expecting was covered in a dusting of snow that blanketed large swatches of the pitch.
The snow which was the remnants of a light snow fall that descended on Seattle in the early morning hours was soon made playable by the grounds crew, but the fact the Sounders might have provided LA with a little gamesmanship did not surprise Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
Rather, Arena insisted, “we always see gamesmanship. It doesn’t change.”
"I don't know the protocol [for the field being cleared],” Arena said in the team’s downtown hotel ahead of Sunday’s conference final deciding leg. “We ran a little bit so it was fine. We don't expect to get any favors when we visit here anyway.”
But when the game kicks off on Sunday, Arena doesn’t expect that the same types of conditions that they faced in training.
“We will adjust and play however. We don’t know what the conditions will be like, but they’ll probably be better than they were at training,” said Arena. “It’s going to be sunny tomorrow so you would anticipate that the ice would melt off the field.
“They weren’t able to clear the field and I know that it was a major blizzard last night so we dealt with those conditions today, but hopefully the sun will allow for the ice to disappear.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) November 29, 2014
By the Numbers: LA Galaxy looking to clinch berth in MLS Cup in second leg against Seattle Sounders FC
SEATTLE -- One more day.
The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC will face on Sunday night with a spot in MLS Cup on the line. In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, we look at the Galaxy's record in Seattle in MLS competition over the years.
Check it out below.
LA Galaxy feeling healthy ahead of Western Conference Championship second leg with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy trained for the final time at StubHub Center on Friday morning and in the final session, head coach Bruce Arena continued to reiterate that team is expected to be fully ready which includes A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas who are expected to be available for selection for Sunday's Western Conference Championship second leg at CenturyLink Field.
"We think that we're good," said Arena. "Seattle has to come out in pretty aggressive and get a goal early. There's no surprises, it's the same game that you've seen for the last month."
A.J. DelaGarza (left hamstring) and Marcelo Sarvas (left leg injury) who both suffered injuries in last week's 1-0 Galaxy victory spoke on Friday and told reporters that they believe that they'll be ready come Sunday.
"If I’m called upon like every weekend I’ll go out there," said DeLaGarza who noted that he trained "a lot' this week. "I’m ready to go."
Added Sarvas, " I trained yesterday (full) and I’m feeling good. Today we just had an easy day, I feel normal...I can play, of course...This was a bruised muscle, it goes away with days, every day is better and better. Sunday will be 100 percent for sure."
Bruce Arena thinks A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas will "be fine" Sunday's second leg with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is confident that A.J. DeLaGarza (left hamstring strain) and Marcelo Sarvas (apparent hip injury) will be fit and available for selection in Sunday's Western Conference Championsip second leg against Seattle Sounders FC.
Both players -- who helped create the Galaxy's lone goal in the first leg -- left in the first leg with various injuries. After the match, Arena and the players seemed optimistic that both would be available in time for Sunday's match.
On Tuesday, both players were in the gym according to Arena. The team have the day-off on Wendesday before returning to training on Thanksgiving.
"I think they're going to be fine," said Arena. "They've been active the last two days so we think that they're going to be fine.
"Everyone is fine and we should have a full team on Sunday."
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez finished third in the 2014 MLS Defender of the Year voting as Seattle Sounders FC center back Chad Marshall took home the top honors.
Marshall finished ahead of D.C. United central defender Bobby Boswell who led both the media and club voting, but the Sounders defender's advantage in the player voting were enough to give him the Defender of the Year. The award is an unprecedented third for Marshall who won the honor twice in 2008 and 2009 while with the Columbus Crew.
Gonzalez was nominated for the league's top honor despite A.J. DeLaGarza winning the team's honor which is voted on by local media.
Jair Marrufo to ref Western Conference Championship second leg between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- Amid the officiating drama of the LA Galaxy's Western Conference Championship first leg with Seattle Sounders FC, the Professional Referees Organization announced that referee Jair Marrufo will get the whistle in Sunday's decisive second leg.
Marrufo officiated over four LA Galaxy games this season including the team's 5-0 Western Conference Semifinal second leg victory over Real Salt Lake earlier this month. During the four games, Marrufo whistled an average 16.25 fouls per game while awarding six yellow cards as the Galaxy earned a 2-0-2 record. The 37-year-old official also reffed two games for the Sounders as Seattle earned a 1-1-0 record. During his Sounders matches, Marrufo called an average of 20.5 fouls per game while dishing out five yellow cards.
Interestingly enough, Marrufo was the man in the middle for a Galaxy/Sounders playoff game in the past as he officiated LA's 3-0 thumping of Seattle in the 2012 Western Conference Championship first leg.
The complete officiating team is below.
REFEREE: JAIR MARRUFO
AR1: Eric Boria
AR2: Corey Rockwell
4TH: Hilario Grajeda
CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy endured a physical battle in their 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC and when the two teams kick off again next Sunday, a similar game is expected.
In their 1-0 win over Seattle, both teams were prone to heavy challenges as the game ended with a total of 25 fouls being called by referee Mark Stott as well as five yellow cards. During the second leg up at CenturyLink Field, another physical match is anticipated, especially after both teams combined for 40 fouls and six yellow cards.
Galaxy central defender Omar Gonzalez, who admitted after the Seattle victory that he “kept his distance” from Sounders players due to his fear of being issued a second yellow, revealed that he’ll be more aggressive in the second leg in Seattle.
“Next week, that second yellow card doesn’t matter,” Gonzalez said. “I’m able to be more aggressive and I’m able to get up on guys a lot tighter so it’ll be fun.
“It’s going to be more aggressive and there might be worse fouls because of the field and how fast it moves,” he added. “Overall, players have to be smart and no one wants to get sent off.”
Marcelo Sarvas, who remains an injury question mark for the game, noted that Seattle’s physicality might end up hurting the Supporters’ Shield winners this weekend.
“I didn’t see their team play a game this year when they had to push and score a goal,” Sarvas. “In my opinion, they play very conservative. They keep two guys higher all the time and everyone behind the box so we’ll see what the situation is going to be there [on Sunday].”
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy have one foot in the MLS Cup final with their 1-0 Western Conference Championship first leg victory over Seattle Sounders FC,, but it’s not time to celebrate just yet.
LA must first earn a result in their second leg at CenturyLink Field this Sunday. Holding a 1-0 advantage after their home leg provides LA with comfort especially considering that away goals will be used as the first tiebreaker in the series.
Ahead of Sunday’s clash, the list below includes all of the potential scenarios for LA to reach MLS Cup:
LA GALAXY WIN ON THE ROAD
*Any victory for the Galaxy in Seattle will send them through to the championship.
LA GALAXY EARN A DRAW
*Any draw between the two teams including, but not limited to a scoreless tie will see the Galaxy advance.
LA GALAXY LOSE TO SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
*Now here is where it gets a little tricky.
A 1-0 victory by Seattle will see the match go into extra time—where away goals are not weighted any further—and could lead to a penalty kick shootout. Any other one goal victory by the Sounders wherein the Galaxy scores a goal will see LA advance to the championship. However, if the Sounders are able to win by a two goal or more margin, no matter LA’s score, then Seattle will advance to MLS Cup for the first time in MLS history.
CARSON, Calif. – Tommy Meyer came through in the clutch during the LA Galaxy’s run to the 2012 MLS Cup and as they look to add a fifth title to the mantel, the defender may be coming up big yet again.
Filling in for the injured Leonardo, Meyer put forth a strong performance on Sunday in the Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in their Western Conference Championship first leg. Alongside Omar Gonzalez, Meyer was immense in shutting down the Sounders scoring tandem of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, frequently limiting their chances to place chances on frame for goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
“It was good. It was my first 90 minutes in awhile and I got through” Meyer said. "You just have to be aware of where they are when they have the ball and be in position."
For all his brevity, the stats showcased the magnitude of his showing as he made three recoveries and interceptions apiece as well as six clearances on the night. The finest moment for the defender came in the 78th minute when he scooped up a Martins pass to Dempsey and shut down a Seattle breakaway.
Meyer’s stellar showing defensively earned him universal praise from the Galaxy locker room, including midfielder Landon Donovan.
“Tommy was great,” Donovan said. “Tommy hasn’t played in a long time. He came in two weeks ago against Salt Lake and was excellent. He was very good again tonight. There were a couple of plays that were a little dicey, but you expect that from a guy that hasn’t played in a long time. I thought he was terrific. I thought that him and Omar [Gonzalez] did a great job shutting down those two. Those two are very, very difficult to play against. They did a great job. And we will need the same next week from them.”
LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez says referee Kevin Stott kept players on the field with an eye to the second leg
CARSON, Calif. – There were hard challenges aplenty on both sides during the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, but the home side believed that Seattle were fortunate to end the match with 11 men.
LA’s ire was focused on Seattle center back Zach Scott who was given a yellow card by head referee Kevin Stott in the 37th minute but did not see a second caution—and subsequent expulsion—despite three additional challenges later. But it was Scott’s foul on Alan Gordon in the dying moments that drew the most criticism thanks to a conversation that Omar Gonzalez alleged post game.
“It’s tough when Stott says to one of your players that he’s not going to give a player another yellow because he wants the best players to play in the next game,” Gonzalez said. “I think it’s not his job to focus on the next game. It’s his job to focus on the game tonight, the game in hand. For him to say that to one of our players is pretty ridiculous, but like I said in a past interview, I’m not thinking about that issue anymore. It’s out of my control; it’s out of our control. They’re going to do what they want. It’s our job to get the job done with our play.”
Neither Gordon nor Stott spoke after the match, but when Scott and Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid had their own thoughts on the official’s allowance of the physical play.
“I don’t know how else to play to be honest with you. A lot of times I tell that line, and today was especially frustrating considering the way the ref called the game,” the Sounders center back said. “But that is just something that I’ve just got to deal with as a player and move on. It’s fine now going into the next leg, another card isn’t going to keep me out of the final.”
Added Schmid, “I think we benefit a little there. I think in most games, the referee would have pulled that second yellow so I’m not going to pretend I didn’t see that or argue about that. But there were also other calls that I don’t understand. I don’t understand how it’s not a foul when [Brad] Evans gets kicked early in the first half. He’s not the kind of guy to lay on the ground and dive, so if he is down he got hit. I think one time Omar [Gonzalez] was screening the ball and he just waited for a little touch and then he fell over like who knows what and all of a sudden it’s a foul. I thought, ‘are you kidding me?’. So a couple plays there, but we were fortunate that Zach [Scott] stayed on the field.”
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