CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are fully aware that Seattle Sounders FC have been in this exact position heading into a decisive second leg in a postseason series before, but whether it impacts their own game plan remains up for debate.
During the 2011 Western Conference Semifinal First Leg, Real Salt Lake jumped on Sounders FC to defeat Seattle by the score of 3-0, setting up a decisive tie at CenturyLink Field. Needing to win by three goals to force extra time, Seattle went on the warpath and put RSL on their heels early. Clutch saves by goalkeeper Nick Rimando and a clearance off the line by right back Tony Beltran held Seattle scoreless in the first half, but the Sounders tallied two quick goals in the second, but could not find a third.
Ahead a frighteningly similar situation heading into this Sunday’s match, LA expect the same approach from Sounders FC.
“I remember watching that game and they had almost 30-some shots [Seattle had 26 attempts on goal] and it’s going to be a similar game to that one last year,” said defender Sean Franklin. “For them, they have confidence; they know how close they were to closing a 3-0 deficit so we know it’s going to be a tough game.”
But head coach Bruce Arena begs to differ that RSL’s experience bares any consequence for the Galaxy.
“You waste a lot of energy trying to think all that stuff out. They weren’t successful last year; they didn’t advance so I’m sure their blueprint is to advance and not, not to advance,” said Arena. “It is what it is. Every game is different, you can’t compare a game last year to this year, and we can’t compare the last game that we played to the next one. They’re all different.”
“I’ll be honest with you; everyone always has the answers the day after the game,” Arena added. “Everyone is the expert and this time around, we have to be flexible with our thinking, flexible on how we deal with the game and hopefully, on Monday, all the experts agree with us as opposed to disagreeing. That’s the way it is, there’s no way of predicting what is going to happen.”