LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders
Saturday marks the beginning of a brave new era for Seattle Sounders after former owner Joe Roth sold his shares to 11 local families. He leaves the team in reasonably good shape, fifth in the Western Conference and on course for another deep run in the playoffs. However, Seattle faces an extremely difficult task on Saturday as it heads down south to take on LA Galaxy. Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s men have a strong home record this season and the Sounders will fear another Zlatan Ibrahimovic masterclass on Saturday evening.
LA Galaxy is a real Jekyll and Hyde team at the moment. It has won four of its last five home games, turning the Dignity Health Tennis Center into a fortress, but it has lost its last four away games. Ibrahimovic embodies this situation, as the Swedish striker has banged in eight goals in his last five home games for LA Galaxy, while failing to hit the back of the net on its last four road trips. It appears the leonine forward hates leaving LA these days. Schelotto’s men have not drawn a single home games this season, taking an all or nothing approach in front of their fans, and that could spell bad news for Seattle.
The Sounders are also strong at home, but they have lost six out of 12 away games so far this season. They slumped to a 3-0 defeat away at Real Salt Lake in their last game, and they have lost three of their last five matches. Seattle has conceded three goals in each of its last three games, and that is pretty horrendous defensive form to take to LA, particularly when Ibrahimovic lies in wait. LA Galaxy beat Seattle 3-0 when they last played at this stadium, and it could pull off a similar feat on Saturday.
LA Galaxy recently pulled off a real coup in signing 23-year-old Argentina international Christian Pavon on loan until the end of the season. It has the option to buy him when the loan comes to an end, and that seems like a tempting prospect. He has been playing for Boca Juniors and he has earned 11 caps for the Argentina national team. That is an impressive feat for a forward, with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain providing stiff competition for places.
Pavon made his debut in LA Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over FC Dallas last time out. Ibrahimovic scored both goals and Pavon set one of them up. “He’s very good,’ said Ibra after the game. “I think MLS will not have him for a long time. We should enjoy him while he is here. I’ve played with many players, and I see when a player is the difference. He is the difference.’ He should play alongside exciting youngsters Julian Arujo and Efrain Alvarez, with Ibrahimovic spearheading the offense, and that could be too much for Seattle to handle.