After taking the past two weeks off from MLS play, the Seattle Sounders return to league and conference play at 7 tonight (ESPN) against one of those teams clustered in the middle of the Western standings: the Los Angeles Galaxy, which is tied for the fifth and final playoff spot.
Like Seattle, Los Angeles has been a hot team, having had an eight-game unbeaten streak snapped July 19 at Kansas City. Also like the Sounders, the Galaxy’s point total can be misleading due to playing relatively few matches – in LA’s case, a league-low 17 games.
“Their team has a lot of quality on it,” Seattle goals leader Clint Dempsey said. “… They’re a team that has won some MLS Cups, and anytime you play against them it’s always an opportunity to test yourself against some of the best players in MLS. But also it’s an opportunity for us to continue trying to get as many points as possible and finish this season as high as possible in the table.”
The Sounders still top the table with an average of 2.11 points per game. Second-place SKC averages 1.81. The Galaxy are fifth with an average of 1.59, and that number has been climbing as their roster has stabilized.
• Stevan Jovetic scored twice to help Manchester City beat AC Milan 5-1 on Sunday in the International Champions Cup in Pittsburgh.
Jovetic opened the scoring in the 11th minute, starting a run of four straight goals for Manchester City in its Pool B opener. His right-footed shot beat goalkeeper Ian Lawlor to the near post.
Scott Sinclair added a goal three minutes later and the rout was on.
• Raheem Sterling scored in the fifth minute in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Olimpiakos at Soldier Field in the International Champions Cup in Chicago.
Sterling beat goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri with a leaping, right-footed half-volley from the center of the box to the bottom right corner in Liverpool’s Pool B opener.
• Saul scored in the fifth round of penalty kicks to lift Spanish League champion Atletico Madrid past Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes after they played to a scoreless tie in the final sporting event at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
Atletico won the shootout 4-3. A crowd of 15,558 attended the Copa Euroamericana game.