The Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy are both coming off a pair of rare losses that give Seattle an edge in the Supporters’ Shield race. In fact, with a win on the road, the Supporters' Shield would be ours! How plausible is that outcome? Let's dive into the data in this week’s match-up graphic.
Notable Player Absences
Both teams have players returning from recent international duty, including Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan, and Robbie Keane for the Galaxy, and DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey for the Sounders. All players should be available for Sunday’s match.
On the injury front, Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers has been struggling with a hamstring injury, but practiced fully on Thursday. Zach Scott appears healthy as well.
Yellow Card Watch
The following players are one yellow card away from a suspension.
|Team||Player||# of Cautions||Remaining games to good
|Los Angeles||A.J. DeLaGarza||4||3|
The numbers in this graphic are pretty darn similar. The Sounders give up more goals and shots per game, but our individual defensive numbers are much stronger. The Sounders win more duels than the Galaxy, but LA has the edge in possession.
While the Galaxy have only two weaknesses (identified by WhoScored.com), they are weaknesses that the Sounders are poised to exploit. Counter attacks: the Sounders have scored 4 goals on direct counter attacks this season, and many others were made possible from a quick Sounders counter. Long shots: 46% of all Sounders shots are from outside the box.
There is not a lot to glean from the data on when the Sounders and Galaxy score and concede goals. The Galaxy do not appear to be particularly vulnerable at any given time, although they seem to be their worst defensively between minutes 16-30 and 61-75.
It is not going to be easy, but a win or tie on the road would make for an epic home game next week with tens of thousands of my closest friends. What are your predictions?