After seeing off the San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference Semifinal, the LA Galaxy will spend Thursday awaiting their opponent in the Western Conference Championship.
Seattle Sounders FC takes on Real Salt Lake on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. PT at Rio Tinto Stadium in the decisive second leg. The series is currently scoreless after goalkeepers Nick Rimando and Michael Gspurning combined for nine saves at CenturyLink Field last week.
The winner will take on the Galaxy in LA’s fourth consecutive appearance in the Western Conference Championship, but before LA can prepare for that match, the Galaxy will place a keen eye on Thursday’s match.
“We’re definitely going to watch it, but honestly, it’s a real toss-up. They’re two really good teams and they both had good seasons and finished very closely to each other,” Defender Todd Dunivant told LA Galaxy Insider on Thursday morning. “If I was betting man, I wouldn’t bet this game because I honestly don’t know and honestly have no preference, they’re both good teams and we’ve battled with both of these teams over the last four years, it’s going to be a great series either way.”
During the 2012 Regular Season, the Galaxy went 1-2-0 against both Salt Lake and Seattle. Regular season results aside, LA have had postseason success against the two teams as LA defeated Seattle in the Conference Semifinal in 2010. The Galaxy’s history with RSL, however, is much longer as Salt Lake knocked off the Galaxy in the 2009 MLS Cup Final in Seattle before LA defeated Salt Lake in the 2011 Western Conference Championship.
But what issues do the two teams pose for LA this season?
“They both present problems, they both have injury concerns which at this time year a lot of teams will,” said Dunivant. “Obviously, with Seattle, they have Johnson and Montero healthy, they’re as dangerous a duo that there is in this league. Rosales is another one that has been hobbled, but he’s the main source of all their goals, they have a lot and they're good defensively.”
“Same goes for Salt Lake,” Dunivant added. “It starts with their defense and they also have a lot of dangerous players in the attack, [Javier] Morales is unpredictable, [Fabian] Espindola, and [Alvaro] Saborío are great goal scorers. There are a lot of similarities between both teams to be honest.”
The first leg of the Western Conference Championship begins at 6 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center while the second leg will take place on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. PT at the winner of RSL/Seattle.