Sounder at Heart sent over their own questions about the LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders series we're about to embark on. While they aren't done in the style of a Gilmore Girls script, they are pressing questions which I'm sure every fan has in the back of their mind.
1 - Landon is having an amazing season. Any chance he plays next year?
I'm going to make a partial list of people that would prefer Landon Donovan to play soccer next year. Bruce Arena, Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Rogers, me, Don Garber, Chris Klein, every Galaxy fan, Barack Obama, the mayor of Carson, Bono, the Spanish media, Grant Wahl probably
He's a complete list of people who would rather Landon Donovan not play soccer next year:
Landon Donovan, Jurgen Klinsmann
Now me, myself, of sound mind and body, would look at those lists and note that I appear to be on the wrong side of history. Jurgen Klinsmann is on your side and he doesn't know how to update the contacts in his phone. So that's not exactly a winning strategy.
Have you ever quit a job you really didn't like? I once worked in a coffee shop in San Francisco's Ferry Building, hundreds of people would come off boats and immediately get in line for coffee. Once I got in trouble for favoring a lawyer who worked upstairs, trying to bring some coffee shop humanity to an awful assembly line job.
The day I handed in my two week notice I felt like I was walking on air, and some homeless man called out to me while walking down the street saying 'you can't leave'. Coincidence? Maybe, but it stuck with me.
That freedom which comes from knowing there's an end in sight can allow for unburdened performance and that's what we're seeing out of Donovan. He's allowing himself to admit the MLS records he's breaking mean a lot to him. He's running while knowing there isn't some US tournament or some loan overseas or some other thing that will weigh him down.
He's absolutely still capable of these performances for several more years. Does he want to? Not really.
2 - Robbie Rogers turned into a pretty darn good left back. What lead to the change and how does he play that position?
It was mostly a change of necessity, and it all goes back to trading away Mike Magee. The 2013 season began with Magee in emergency forward duty as Donovan went on walkabout (see above re: Donovan not wanting to be a soccerer anymore). Gyasi Zardes did some work at wide mid, but it was quite apparent that he was meant to be a forward. So in the interest of getting the best eleven on the field, Arena trades away the older forward who's been stuck playing mid for too long anyway.
Part two is Todd Dunivant turning into a loose pile of disassociated body parts. Clearly this wasn't predicted as Arena could have given him the Sean Franklin treatment. He brought Dunivant back in, he falls apart, and now out of necessity we get Robbie Rogers trying things out as left back.
At first he played it like a mid subbing at fullback, focusing more on distribution. As the season has gone on, he's gotten much better at defense which has been great. Find the right balance took time, but he's settling into it. All because Arena believed in Zardes enough to clear a space in the Starting XI, and because he recognized the narrow attacking version of the Galaxy had become predictable.
3 - Is there any reason to not expect this match to be a run & gun shootout?
Pew pew! Pew pew!
I did LAvSEA on FIFA 15 last night and it ended up 4-3 in favor of Seattle. There was just so much space, and between Zardes, Martins, Keane, and Dempsey nobody could miss. It was a ton of fun.