The LA Galaxy continue their road trip this weekend with a fixture against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday afternoon. To get you ready for the game, I spoke to my old friend Dave Clark over at SB Nation’s Seattle soccer site Sounder at Heart to get the lowdown on LA’s next opponent. Many thanks, as always, to Dave for taking the time to answer my questions.
LAG Confidential asks Sounder at Heart:
1. So tell me, who’s new to the Sounders this season? Unlike most teams, Seattle seems to have kept their powder dry in the offseason.
Prior to the season I would have said the only significant signing was Albert Rusnàk, DP and biggest in-league free agent ever. We’ll get to him in a bit. The play of Obed Vargas surged him up the depth chart from nice youngster who will make the bench once in a while to “how does he stay in the lineup?” Vargas displayed his abilities as a willing tackler with Tacoma Defiance. In his 363 minutes he’s grown into a man capable of bringing the ball forward, searching for that pass before the assist, and an excellent free roamer in space. He’s just 16, which every broadcast will mention at least a dozen times.
Rusnàk is taking longer to get situated. He’s played as a 6/8 and the 10 so far. At this point his defensive energy looks better than it did with Real Salt Lake, but he hasn’t meshed in the attack. Albert started slow last year, too. This year his success has been complicated by a preseason, and now in season, without several of the players he was supposed to be a force amplifier for.
2. Concacaf Champions League is going really well for Seattle so far this year. Do you expect to see a lot of rotation/45-minute shifts this weekend as a result, with most attention on the midweek action?
They won’t get to rotate too much, as the large roster is already marred with injuries. The status of Raúl Ruidiaz and Nico Lodeiro is up in the air. Several depth players are injured too. The Tuesday victory over León couldn’t have taken place with a full 20-man MLS matchday roster.
But, Seattle is in a Tuesday-Saturday-Thursday stretch and already has 5 games played. The players may be at a fitness stage where they can handle it.
3. The flipside is the Sounders are winless in league play so far. Any concerns at this stage or just the collateral effects of fixture congestion to start the season?
President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said that in order to win Concacaf Champions League the early season would suffer. I don’t think anyone expected that to mean 0 and 2 and an inability to score. If there’s good news it’s that Seattle’s defense is as strong as ever and the offense should eventually be among the best, if it’s healthy.
You can find my answers to Dave’s questions about the Galaxy at Sounder at Heart.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.