Galaxy-Sounders FC Preview
Greg Vanney will use LA Galaxy's clash with Seattle Sounders FC as an opportunity to gauge how far his side have come over the duration of the season.
The Western Conference rivals face off for the third time this season on Monday, with Seattle winning both of those previous encounters.
The first of those was a 3-0 victory at Lumen Field on matchday three, and Vanney will be hoping for a different outcome in this final regular-season road trip.
"We feel we can go there and get a result. They're an experienced team going through a tough patch, but they're in a home environment and have guys coming back," Vanney said.
"We need to focus on what we need to do to get a result. We've performed well against them in the past and it'll give us a chance to show how we've grown from the first game."
The Galaxy occupy an MLS Cup Playoffs spot with two games to go, but they enter Monday's contest on the back of a 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City.
The Sounders have taken just one point from their last four games to slip behind Sporting in the race for top spot in the East, meanwhile, and boss Brian Schmetzer is eager to regain some form ahead of the playoffs.
"We need to win the last two games," he said. "It's as simple as that. I want the team to just be playing better when we're going into the playoffs. That's the critical part.
"I want my team to play on the front foot against Galaxy. We're at home. We've got to take it to them. You'll see a fast, entertaining game for sure."
Seattle Sounders FC - Raul Ruidiaz
Since scoring twice in the Sounders' 3-1 win at San Jose Earthquakes a month ago, Ruidiaz has played no part due to a hamstring injury.
The Peru international is in contention for a return on Monday, however, and with 16 goals to his name this season he still has a chance of chasing down Valentin Castellanos (18 goals) to claim the Golden Boot.
LA Galaxy - Javier Hernandez
Hernandez missed the Galaxy's defeat to Kansas City in midweek through illness, but he has since returned to training and is expected to be included in the starting line-up to face the Sounders.
That is good news for Vanney as his side average 1.63 points (31 in 19 games) with the Mexican striker in their side this season, compared to 1.15 points (15 in 13 games) without.
- The Sounders are unbeaten in six straight matches against the Galaxy (W4 D2), including winning both meetings this season. Seattle have never won three straight matches against the Galaxy, while the only team since 2007 to beat the Galaxy three times in a single regular season was Portland Timbers last season.
- Seattle have lost two straight matches and have just one point from their last four matches (D1 L3). The last time the Sounders had two or fewer points in a five-match span was during a five-match losing streak in July-August 2015.
- The Galaxy lost for the first time in their last five matches, dropping a 2-0 result to Kansas City. Los Angeles have earned a single point in six matches against the Western Conference's top three teams (Seattle, Sporting Kansas City, Colorado Rapids) this season (W0 D1 L5).
- Seattle have scored just three goals in their last four matches, including being shut out at LAFC on Tuesday, not scoring more than one in any match. Including playoffs, the last time Seattle were held to fewer than two goals in five straight MLS matches was in August-September 2017.
Updated October 31, 2021