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Galaxy-Sounders rivalry started in 2009 and kept getting stronger

It may never reach the heights of Timbers-Sounders, but the LA-Seattle duel is where championships are decided, too often in SoCal’s favor.

Yeah, it’s easy to hate the LA Galaxy. It is right and just to do so.

From 2009 to the present, the two winningest teams in the league are the LA Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders. They also have the most major trophies in that timeframe. For most of that stretch, a former LA man (Sigi Schmid) was head coach in Seattle. It is a rivalry that extends into ownership. Two of Seattle’s owners are based in LA, but their soccer hearts are in the Puget Sound.

Brian Schmetzer knows this is a rivalry. For him there’s no question. “Oh, yeah. I think it’s a rivalry that should have a little bit more notoriety to it.”

While Schmetz says “it’s an understated rivalry,” I agree—but it shouldn’t be that way. I hate the Galaxy and you should too.

I hate their manipulation of MLS rules. I hate David Beckham. I hate Landon Donovan (if only while wearing LA’s white-blue-yellow). I hate Robbie Keane. I hate Giovani dos e cero. I hate Carlos Ruiz. I hate Jelle Van Damme. I hate Jermaine Jones. I hate SoCal.

I hate their dominance of the league’s trophies. I hate their wins. I hate their points. I hate their dumping the Sounders out of the MLS Cup Playoffs until 2015. I hate the brilliance of their social media presence. I hate that they are the pinnacle of what American soccer can be.

Trophies from 2009 to present

Club MLS Cup Shield National Cup Other CCL Total Majors Total CCL
Club MLS Cup Shield National Cup Other CCL Total Majors Total CCL
Seattle Sounders 1 1 4 0 6 6
LA Galaxy 3 2 0 0 5 5
Toronto FC 0 0 5 0 5 5
Sporting KC 1 0 2 0 3 3
FC Dallas 0 1 1 2 2 4
New York Red Bulls 0 2 0 1 2 3
Montreal Impact* 0 0 2 0 2 2
Real Salt Lake 1 0 0 2 1 3
Colorado Rapids 1 0 0 1 1 2
Portland Timbers* 1 0 0 1 1 2
D.C. United 0 0 1 1 1 2
Columbus Crew 0 1 0 0 1 1
San Jose Earthquakes 0 1 0 0 1 1
Vancouver Whitecaps* 0 0 1 0 1 1
Houston Dynamo 0 0 0 3 0 3
New England Revolution 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chicago Fire 0 0 0 0 0 0
Philadelphia Union* 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chivas USA+ 0 0 0 0 0 0
New York City FC* 0 0 0 0 0 0
Orlando City SC* 0 0 0 0 0 0
Atlanta United FC* 0 0 0 0 0 0
Minnesota United* 0 0 0 0 0 0
* is for teams that joined after ‘09. + is because Chivas USA no longer exists. “Other CCL” are for teams who qualified for the CCL without winning a major trophy. Data is from Sounders FC and

The LA Galaxy are the measuring stick. Staff and players for the Sounders know it. Seattle also knows that they are number two, but the gap is narrowing. Winning an MLS Cup has certainly helped the Sounders gain on their rivals.

“I think Seattle and LA have been top notch teams, I guess since their existence. Both clubs have a history, a pretty good history and when you play two big clubs like that it means a lot. There’s a higher standard that comes into the organization and also in the play on the field. I think those two things are the biggest two things,” Cristian Roldan said after Thursday’s practice. “When it comes to bigger clubs I believe that we’re up there in MLS and we’re serving as competition for the rest of the big clubs.”

In 2017 most teams are targeting the Sounders, and that’s just fine, but on Sunday at 1 PM (ESPN) the Sounders are targeting the Galaxy.

While there were several years when LA dominated this rivalry, recently the scales have tipped towards the Sounders in this matchup. That started in 2015 when the Sounders tossed the Galaxy aside in the playoffs for the first time. Then there was the run to the 2016 MLS Cup that started with a 1-1 draw against LA, including a 4-2 victory by Seattle over the Galaxy in LA. The tide is starting to turn in Puget Sound’s favor.

As Schmetzer said, “there is a lot of new history to make that rivalry an interesting one.”

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