Seattle, WA – The Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC will put their three-game unbeaten runs on the line when the two sides meet at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday.
The Galaxy endured a slow start to the 2012 Major League Soccer season, but they have been able to improve to 10 points on the season after going 2-0-1 in their last three league games.
Los Angeles earned a 1-1 tie against FC Dallas in its last outing to preserve that unbeaten run, getting a stoppage time goal in the second half from Pat Noonan. The star in an otherwise disappointing display from the Galaxy was veteran goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, who made a start in net for Josh Saunders who was unavailable for personal reasons.
Gaudette conceded a penalty kick that yielded the lead to Dallas in the second half, but he kept the Galaxy in the game with several clutch saves.
"Bill's a little more vocal; he likes to talk," defender A.J. DeLaGarza said. "Nothing you could do on that play that caused the [penalty kick], but he made some big saves, looked composed and was a veteran in the back."
With Los Angeles unsure whether or not Saunders will return in time for Wednesday's match, the club can take solace in the fact that it has a formidable replacement in Gaudette.
Seattle, though, will be looking to put a damper on the proceedings by grabbing an early goal.
Teams that score first in MLS play this season have posted a 53-9-8 record, and the Sounders have contributed all four of their wins to that statistic.
"The first goal is important in every game," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told the club's official website. "We were a team that did a great job last year coming back from a deficit and we're glad that we're not putting ourselves in that position. That's a test that eventually you lose.
"It's going to be an intense match-up for sure, because these are two quality teams."
The Galaxy will have to track several Sounders players who have shown that they are capable of scoring. David Estrada leads the team with five goals on the season, Eddie Johnson scored his first for the club in its 2-1 defeat of the Chicago Fire last time out, and Fredy Montero has proven scoring pedigree in MLS.
"Not only is it Fredy that teams have to watch out for, or myself, but David Estrada is on fire," Johnson said. "Whenever you can get different personnel scoring on the team it says a lot about the depth of the team and the strength of the team."
With Los Angeles struggling defensively this season with the loss of Omar Gonzalez, Seattle could be in for a strong offensive showing.