The Galaxy have lost five straight league games. The Sounders are on a roll. With Sigi at the helm, can LA conjure up a vintage performance vs. their hated rivals?
We spoke with Dave Clark from Sounder at Heart to find out.
LAG Confidential: Seattle have won three straight, scoring at least three goals a match along the way. What's clicked for the Sounders?
Sounder at Heart: The depth that struggled after being overused early in the season is again clicking. When used infrequently players like Jordy Delem are adequate, but the early season leaned on so many depth players that they were eventually overwhelmed. Since then the spot performances look much better.
Combine that with a team that is now playing for each other, rather than counting on either Dempsey or Lodeiro to do everything things are quite bright these days. Additionally, the recent surge of Cristian Roldan continues his history of dipping into trying circumstances, possibly struggling, and then succeeding. He's a fast learner and is rapidly becoming part of the core of the team.
LAG Confidential: I felt for Jordan Morris earlier in the season, who was clearly struggling with a recurring ankle injury. After his performance in the Gold Cup final, would you say he's finally fully recovered?
Sounder at Heart: Yes. The last couple games before he left to dominate the Gold Cup he was healthy and except for the first half against Jamaica he looked every bit of the player that won the Rookie of the Year, if not better. While there is still some lingering question about his best role with the Sounders there should be no doubt that he is more than a starting quality player in this league. He can change games, and does not need many touches to be effective.
LAG Confidential: Clint Dempsey's contract expires at the end of the year. Will the Sounders re-sign the 34-year-old?
Sounder at Heart: Probably. Dempsey is tearing the league apart this year. While he may never satisfy some fans, there is a lot of value to an organization that can know that one of their DPs will get 10+ goals and 6+ assists every single healthy years. Now that he's fading from starting every USMNT match his value to his club increases. There will be times Arena doesn't call him into camp. Sounders will benefit from that as either Dempsey rests, or he embarrasses a team (like the Rapids a couple weeks ago). He won't be MVP quality in 2018 (after he reads this he'll go into rage-mode and prove me wrong). He will be a strong contributor to a team that has enough options to give Clint space to try shit.