CARSON, Calif. -- For the first time since 2005, the LA Galaxy head into the Western Conference Semifinal as the series’ lowest seed, meaning that The Home Depot Center will host the first leg of the two-leg series against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Of the 36 home-and-home series in MLS history since their introduction during the 2003 MLS Cup playoffs, the top seeds have advanced 22 times. Whether this actually classifies a competitive advantage or disadvantage for either team remains a heated topic for debate, but Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant is convinced that it means little.
“I guess that technically it should be, but in reality, it’s not. A lot of times, the only real advantage to having the second leg at home is knowing what you need to do and also having that overtime in penalties, but that’s not a huge advantage,” said Dunivant. “Last year, Salt Lake got up 3-0 on Seattle and it was too big a hill for [the Sounders] to climb when they got home. It can go either way, D.C.. and New York just swapped, and I don’t think that’s going to change drastically what is happening in that series. It is two games and you have 180 minutes to decide who is going through and who is advancing.”
Curiously enough, LA’s opponents in that 2005 series? None other than the 2005 Supporters’ Shield winners, the San Jose Earthquakes.