Thu, 29 Jul 2021

Top goal scorers duel when Sounders meet Galaxy

Field Level Media
19 Jun 2021, 05:55 GMT+10

Two of the top teams in the Western Conference return to regular-season play when the first-place Seattle Sounders and the third-place Los Angeles Galaxy meet on Saturday night at Carson, Calif.

The Sounders (5-0-3, 18 points) entered the international break as the only undefeated team in the Western Conference, but have two ties since their most recent win on May 16.

Seattle still is unbeaten through eight games of a season for the first time in its history, and if the Sounders avoid a loss on Saturday, they will be the second team since 2015 to go unbeaten in nine games to start a season, along with FC Dallas in 2017.

Seattle is without defender Xavier Arreaga, who is with Ecuador at Copa America in South America this month. The Sounders already have a win over the Galaxy this season, 3-0 at home on May 2.

"I'm totally preparing for a different feel, a different look as to how they play," Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said of the Galaxy.

The Galaxy (5-2-0, 15 points) don't have any absences due to international duty, but they will be without suspended defender Derrick Williams for another five games.

Los Angeles has won all four its home games this season, and for the first time since March of last year, it will welcome a capacity crowd.

The game features the top two goal scorers in MLS in Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez for the Galaxy, the league leader with seven, and Raul Ruidiaz for Seattle with six goals.

Of concern for the Galaxy is how many shots on target goalkeeper Jonathan Bond has faced this season: 51, with 40 saves. But the team is expected to have new center back Sega Coulibaly eligible to play for the first time this season after he arrived in April from his third-tier club in France.

"He's integrated really well," Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. "The guys have really welcomed him, which is no surprise with our group of players. He's trained well. He's got great soccer IQ and he understands what he's trying to do on the field."

--Field Level Media

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