CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Keys to Sunday’s match against the Seattle Sounders
FIND YOUR FORM
With the start of the MLS Cup playoffs less than a week away, the LA Galaxy must use Sunday’s match against Seattle Sounders FC as a tune up ahead of their Knockout Round match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Sunday’s match offers the opportunity to offer valuable minutes for players returning from injury like David Beckham and Landon Donovan as well as those looking to improve their form like Edson Buddle and Christian Wilhelmsson. However, the Galaxy must be wary of providing too many minutes to their starters as this could lead to fatigue ahead of Thursday’s Knockout Round playoff match.
Expect Arena to manage the minutes for the likes of Buddle, Wilhelmsson, Beckham and Donovan as LA turns their focus to the Whitecaps as he looks to prevent overwork or injuries.
FINE TUNE THE DEFENSE
Perhaps the most important factor to the LA Galaxy’s defense of their MLS Cup title will be the play of the center back pairing of Omar Gonzalez and Tommy Meyer.
During last week’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, the pair showed their skills, but also their limitations as a pairing. For wide stretches of the match, Gonzalez and Meyer locked down the Quakes attack, but still needed to do better on San Jose’s pair of goals.
They’ll get an opportunity to improve their chemistry on Sunday as a pairing together as they face off against Sounders’ forward tandem of Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson. With A.J. DeLaGarza still returning from a knee injury, Sunday’s performance could go a long way to strengthening the back four for the postseason.
SHUT DOWN THE CENTER OF THE PARK
If the LA Galaxy are going to end the season on a high note, they will need a strong performance against a tough Seattle Sounders midfield.
During the last meeting between the two clubs, Seattle’s midfield overran the Galaxy, comfortably dishing balls wide and stretching the Galaxy’s defense en route to a 4-0 victory. On Sunday, the Galaxy must avoid the mistakes of July by placing pressure on the likes of Mauro Rosales and Christian Teiffert to prevent potential scoring opportunities.
Success against the Sounders could pay off once the playoffs role around as LA will take on a tough Whitecaps midfield, anchored by Bryan Robson and Gershon Koffie.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and follow him on Twitter: @LAGalaxyInsider