With plenty of attacking quality, Galaxy shunning defense-first approach

CARSON, Calif. – Yes, the LA Galaxy hold a 3-0 series lead on aggregate in their Western Conference Championship Series with Seattle Sounders FC heading into the second leg, but they are not interested in hanging back to hold their lead in Sunday’s match at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

The temptation heading into the second leg could be to drop numbers in the box in an attempt to clog the passing lanes and limit scoring opportunities for Sounders FC. But throughout the week, the Galaxy have shunned any talk of a defensive-first approach.

“If you take that approach and go with that mentality than you’re going to keep that throughout the whole game and you don’t want to do that,” said goalkeeper Josh Saunders. “You want to go out and try to win the game.”

One potential blue print – although that is up for debate – is Seattle’s 2011 Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg against Real Salt Lake. During the match, Sounders FC peppered the net in hopes of erasing a similar 3-0 deficit, but was unable to find the tying third goal to even the series.  

Ahead of Sunday’s second leg, the Galaxy have watched tape of that performance and expect to learn from Salt Lake’s game plan.

“We know what the game is going to look like, it’s very clear,” said Landon Donovan. “If we don’t do a good job of putting them back on their heels and attacking them then they can have wave after wave of attack against us and when that happens, they have talented players that can make plays and it’ll be a dangerous game.

“We don’t want to fall into that, we don’t want a game where we’re giving up 30 shots like Salt Lake did last year and squeaking our way through,” Donovan added. “We want to put them on the back foot a little bit and we think that we have the quality to do that.”

With that attacking quality in mind, Donovan is adamant that there will be no defensive shell for LA.

“I didn’t grow up as a defender, I’m not going there to defend for 90 minutes, I’m going there to try to do my part to help us defend, but I’m going there to help us score goals and make plays,” said Donovan. “Robbie [Keane] is the same, Mike Magee is the same, David [Beckham] is the same, even guys like Juni and Christian Wilhelmsson are the same so that’s our mentality.”