Coming off a resounding 3-0 win over Club León on Tuesday, the Seattle Sounders are back in MLS action with a nationally televised game against the LA Galaxy. Saturday’s match will air on FOX and features two teams off to very different starts.
Here’s what we’re hoping to see in this one:
Snap the streak
Whether or not it actually means anything, I’m getting pretty tired of talking about the Sounders’ various winless streaks. They’ve now tied a franchise-worst by going nine straight MLS contests without a win — which includes the last six regular-season games and playoff game from last year; four of those were at home. The last league game the Sounders won at home was on Oct. 9, 2021, a 4-1 shellacking of the Vancouver Whitecaps. While it’s still too early to actually worry about the standings, getting a win would at least allow us to stop talking about it.
Get the first goal
The common thread that runs almost straight through this winless run is the Sounders’ inability to get the first goal. The only time they’ve managed to do that was the 2021 regular-season finale against the Whitecaps, a lead that lasted all of 12 minutes. That means they’ve spent the rest of those 828 minutes tied or trailing. One thing we’ve seen in the two CCL games they’ve won in the meantime is how much the game opens up when the Sounders score first. A goal would also end a 250-minute scoring drought, which is something else I’d rather not talk about anymore.
Let Jordan run
If there’s one thing the León match showed us, it’s that the Sounders are at their absolute best when they’re able to get into transition. To some degree that’s going to be dictated by the defense. Against teams who try to compress the midfield, intricate passing can open up opportunities to get behind. Although the Galaxy were one of the least-pressuring teams in the league last year, they’ve been more aggressive in their two matches this year. That could present the Sounders with an opportunity, specifically through Jordan Morris. Rarely has Morris looked more dangerous than he did against León. There’s no reason he can’t continue that form.
Don’t lose Chicharito
The Galaxy made a major addition over the offseason in signing Brazilian Douglas Costa, but make no mistake — this is still Javier Hernandez’s team. Despite injuries cutting into his 2021, Chicharito still finished with 17 goals and he seems to be in similar form this year. He was held scoreless in the two games where the Sounders beat the Galaxy last year, but scored in the 1-1 tie toward the end of the season. Keeping him in check will go a long way toward securing the bag.
Worry about León next week
Concacaf’s schedule-makers seem to have done the Sounders a solid by moving back the return leg against León from Tuesday to Thursday. The two extra days of rest will not only make the trip to Austin a bit easier next week, but it also gives Seattle two more days of rest after this game. Hopefully, that means the Sounders can go with something closer to a full-strength lineup against the Galaxy.