May 8, 2010 in Sports

Stumbling Sounders could use win

But that will be tough task against Galaxy
John Boyle Everett Herald

SEATTLE – Sounders FC could really use a victory today.

Seattle comfortably won its season opener, but ever since that game, despite showing signs of improvement in its play, Sounders FC is 1-2-3 after falling victim to a lack of goal scoring and, in the case of all three ties, crushing stoppage-time goals.

“It definitely would help with our morale a little bit seeing as we’ve given away a lot of points on the road,” defender Tyrone Marshall said. “And against Columbus we played well enough to get three points, but it’s just those little lapses in concentration that we’ve got to get better on.”

So, yes, a win would go a long ways for a team struggling to get results that match the quality of its play. Unfortunately for Seattle, however, getting that much-needed victory this afternoon will require knocking off the league’s top team, the Los Angeles Galaxy.

L.A., last year’s league runner-up, is off to a 6-0-1 start, has scored more goals (11) and conceded fewer (two) than any team in the league. All of that is without English star David Beckham, who is out with an Achilles injury. The Galaxy may be missing their most recognizable player, but they are more than making up for his absence with the likes of Landon Donovan, last season’s league MVP, and forward Edson Buddle, who with nine goals already this season, may be on his way to an MVP award in 2010.

“Obviously, right now they are the top dog in the league,” Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said. “They are the premier team. They are the ones who have gotten all of the points so far. So it’s going to be a great challenge for us. We are obviously a little bit the underdogs going in so it’s a chance for our fans to see how we respond to that and how we measure ourselves up against the best team in the league right now.”

Until L.A.’s win over Colorado Wednesday, Buddle had scored every goal but one for the Galaxy – he had the assist on the other – so he is obviously the player Seattle most needs to contain in order to win. Slowing Buddle, however, needs to start before he gets the ball.

“Obviously, he is hot and he is on form. The key for Buddle right now is he doesn’t need many chances to get his goals,” Schmid said. “But obviously, any forward lives off service and so we have got to make sure we cut those service lines and keep the ball from getting into him. A lot of the service comes from Landon Donovan so we have got to contain Donovan.”

Marshall, who played for L.A. until he was traded, oddly enough, for Buddle in 2007, is looking forward to facing his old team, and to the challenge of stopping Buddle. Even if Buddle is on a hot streak, Marshall said Seattle can’t make drastic changes just to slow him down.

“You just have to play your game, make sure you keep a body on him, know where he’s at at all times,” Marshall said.

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