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Seeking the return of the hydra

The match against the LA Galaxy on Sunday night (5:15 PM, ESPN2)) is for the Supporters' Shield. Seattle wins and they take a trophy they've never held before. For fans, it also offers a moment of cathartic release - if...

hail hydra
hail hydra
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Trophies are neat. Wrapping one up prior to the final week of the season would be very special for a club that has yet to win MLS hardware. But there's something else missing lately, besides the annual quest for Shield and Cup, the offense when against a good team.

That isn't going to get any easier going against the LA Galaxy. By both standard and advanced metrics they have the best defense in the league. Still, Seattle has 3+ goals against some playoff quality teams (including Portland because they just might do it). Five such matches occurred this year - two against RSL, two against Portland and one against Dallas.

The hydra is fun. It's been explosive at times, while at others it can be disappointing. It is an attack in soccer, even the best are this way. There is no doubt that Seattle has one of the best attacks in league history.

It is wrong to assume they can do such at the StubHub Center.

But the hope for it and the release of fan worry and woe if Oba, Clint, Lamar, Chad, Kenny and Marco could do it would be wonderful.

Fantasy Hydra

A large segment of the fanbase fears the Galaxy. They've been the impediment to Seattle's chance at greatness too often. They are the measuring stick. Clearly the most successful MLS side in the modern era LA deserves respect and earned the fear. Their three-headed attack is also great.

Our short memories see the last match as a shutout. It was against an average MLS side. We shuffle the dominating performances against Chivas TBD and Colorado off to the side as against horrible teams.

RSL twice, Portland twice, Dallas once.

It's possible. Dallas and Salt Lake have average defenses. Portland's is fairly poor. Real also has a great keeper.

LA is 9th in the league at allowing shots from wide areas in the box and 5th at allowing shots from outside the box. They are the best at defending the most dangerous spaces though. Seattle's attack is only 12th at shots from wide spaces inside the 18, but is third in the league from distance. Distance shots are normally ineffective, but this is an area where a weakness may be exploited.

This match has the makings of a shootout, if so that means that Sounders FC could see their hydra back. It's an offense that needs to be unleashed. At its best it is instinctive and primal. It flows in odd paths winding through spaces too narrow for mortal men and then it strikes.

In a game that is not must win, let loose the hydra. It is a huge magical beast with legendary powers. It is a kaiju from an era before kaiju were known. We have our own monsters now. They are beautiful and nasty.

That best regular season platter would be nice, but the emotions of watching the hydra unleashed on LA would be even greater.

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