CARSON, Calif. – As the LA Galaxy finish preparations for Sunday’s match up against the Seattle Sounders FC in the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series, they know it will take a solid performance to move on in the playoffs. However, there is one major advantage on the Galaxy’s side, a home field advantage unlike any other in MLS history. Since the start of the league, the Galaxy have hosted 22 playoff games, collecting an impressive record of 19-2-1 in those games.
“It shows that we are a tough team to beat down here. Teams have their work cut out for them. But at the same time, those kind of stats only go so far, “said defender Todd Dunivant, who was a part of the Galaxy’s 2005 MLS Cup championship team. “We can’t focus too much on the stats, but it does show that we are a tough team to beat in this building.”
The last time the team lost in the playoffs at home was all the way back on October 10, 1998 against the Chicago Fire when the Galaxy’s home games were still played at the Rose Bowl. Since that day, the Galaxy have been nearly unstoppable at home in the postseason, going 15-0-1, with the only draw coming back in 2001. The club has been even better since moving to The Home Depot Center in 2003. LA has never lost a playoff game in the building, going 5-0-0 as the home team and also earning a 2-2 draw with Chivas USA as the road team in the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series last year.
Former star and current assistant coach, Cobi Jones, who has played or coached for the Galaxy every year since the club’s debut in 1996, has seen the team’s playoff dominance at home throughout the years.
“I think it shows a level of concentration and pride in this club in having a good home. It is a testament to the players, the staff that has been here over the years, and the fans. They have made it a very difficult place for other teams to come and play,” said Jones, who is the club’s all-time leader in regular season and postseason games played.
He is hopeful that the team can continue the streak.
“I think is very important that with this upcoming game that we continue with that tradition. It would be nice to continue with that tradition and move forward and make it a place where teams fear coming into. That shows you why the Galaxy has been such a good team over the years because it means something to this club. If you want to be a championship team, you need to win at home. “
Landon Donovan, the only current Galaxy player besides Dunivant to have won MLS Cup with the club, doing so in 2005, also recognized the importance of home field advantage during the playoffs.
“The reason why we put so much into the regular season is to have the opportunity to play here at home when it matters. We put a lot into our last game of the regular season against Dallas to ensure that we had the home field advantage in the playoffs and now we have to make it stand up, “Donovan said.
“This team has always played well at home. I take a lot of pride in playing well at home in the playoffs and the same will go for Sunday.”
The Galaxy are ahead 1-0 on aggregate goals in the series and host Seattle in the second game of the two-leg, home-and-home Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday, November 7 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN. BUY TICKETS
With a win or tie on Sunday, they will host the Western Conference Championship at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, November 14 at 6 p.m. BUY TICKETS
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