CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy defender Tommy Meyer has seen the impressive crowds at CenturyLink Field up close, having served as an unused substitute in both LA defeats this season, but on Sunday, the rookie will truly experience their ferocity from the Galaxy starting XI.
OnSunday in the Western Conference Championship Second Leg, Meyer will start alongside fellow center back and backline leader Omar Gonzalez as the Galaxy look to advance to advance to their third MLS Cup Final in four years. Although Meyer has seen the crowd at CenturyLink, he’s excited about the prospect of stepping onto the field on Sunday, in front of the largest crowd that he’s ever played in front of.
“It something that I look forward to,” said Meyer. “You always want to play in front of a crowd like that and it kind of gets you going. It’ll be a fun environment to play in.”
Although the noise is deafening from the outside, Meyer attests that he does a good job of tuning out the crowd.
“I don’t really hear anything; I’m just focused on the game,” said Meyer. “Everything tunes out when the game starts.”
While the atmosphere promises to be a festive one off the field, but LA understand that it will be a battle on the field as Seattle look to erase a three goal deficit after falling in the first leg at The Home Center. For Seattle to overturn the deficit at home, head coach Sigi Schmid will need greater production from forward Fredy Montero, who was a non-factor in the first leg in large part due to Meyer.
During the first leg, Meyer and Omar Gonzalez stifled Sounders FC's all-time leading goal scorer through consistent pressure, holding the Colombian to a single attempt at goal—a shot from 35-yards-out in the 16th minute that was blocked by Galaxy right back Sean Franklin. For LA to continue to keep Montero under wraps in the second leg, Meyer believes that the Galaxy must follow the same game plan.
“Obviously, we have to do the same way that we did last game, win steps to him and stay tight,” said Meyer. “[Gonzalez and I] are good at covering each other just like we’ve been doing for last two games.”
Although the crowd and a motivated Sounders FC will provide a stiff test for the rookie, Franklin and the rest of the Galaxy have confidence that Meyer can help LA silence Seattle.
“Earlier this year, he was not playing many games, so [he didn’t] have a lot of confidence, but by getting in the rotation more, you can tell that he’s playing with more confidence,” said Franklin. “He has no fear out there, he’s not afraid to make mistakes and if he does, he forgets about it and goes to the next play and he can tell you that he’s growing as a player."