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Game day comes: Sounders-LA, 7 p.m.

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on May 2, 2012 at 1:16 am with No Comments »
May 1, 2012 9:22 pm

Even in his first Major League Soccer season, Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning understands that the Los Angeles Galaxy is not just another American club.

“Of course the L.A. Galaxy are a special team because of the big names: (David) Beckham, (Robbie) Keane, all of them,” said Gspurning, an Austrian who played his five previous seasons in Greece. “So this makes the team special. But we will have the same preparation as for every other game. We take it as serious as the other games: not less, and not more. On the field, every player is the same. You have to make your work. It doesn’t help if you say, ‘Yeah, on the other side of the field is Beckham and (Landon) Donovan.’ Of course they are great players. But we have a good team, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t win.”

Gspurning and the Sounders will face the Galaxy and its star-studded roster tonight at CenturyLink Field.

Here’s a preview of the match:

LOS ANGELES GALAXY (3-3-1; 10 POINTS)
AT SOUNDERS FC (4-1-1; 13 POINTS)
7 p.m., CenturyLink Field.
TV:
KONG 6/16. RADIO: 97.3 FM

CLUB LEADERS: For L.A.: G 3, Robbie Keane; A 2, three players; S 22, Keane; SOG 12, Keane; GAA 1.67, Josh Saunders. For Seattle: G 4, David Estrada; A 2, Alvaro Fernandez; S 30, Fredy Montero; SOG 8, Estrada and Montero; GAA 0.50, Michael Gspurning.
HEAD TO HEAD: Seattle is 1-3-2 against Los Angeles in league play, and 0-3-1 over the last four meetings. Last season, the Sounders lost at home and played to a scoreless draw on the road. The Galaxy will return to CenturyLink on Aug. 5, and the Sounders visit L.A. on Oct. 28.
NOTES: This is the middle of a three-games-in-eight-days stretch for both teams. That leaves both lineups fluid, and L.A. coach Bruce Arena has implied David Beckham and perhaps other big names could be out of the lineup. Eddie Johnson also could be among those rested by the Sounders. … Seattle has the second-best goals-against average (0.50) in MLS; while Los Angeles has the fifth-best goals-scoring average (1.57). … Seattle is 3-1 at home; the Galaxy is 1-1 on the road. … Seattle midfielder Alvaro Fernandez (quad) is doubtful and defender Patrick Ianni (back) is questionable. Galaxy defenders Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo are out with knee injuries. … Seattle is coming off of a 2-1 win at Chicago on Saturday. Los Angeles also played Saturday: a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas, with the Galaxy’s equalizing goal coming in stoppage time from former Sounder Pat Noonan. … Sounders coach Sigi Schmid (161) and Arena (131) are 1-2 in career MLS wins. … This is Gspurning’s 31st birthday. … The referee is Hilario Grajeda.
QUOTABLE: “The Galaxy and ourselves have been the teams that over the last three regular seasons have had the best record when you combine it all together. We always want to be amongst the quality teams. I think we’re there. Now it’s a matter of taking that next step.” — Schmid
NEXT: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Philadelphia Union; CenturyLink Field.

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