The Seattle Sounders are in grave danger of being eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs and will need to finally put all the pieces together against Bruce Arena’s LA Galaxy, who are keen to put the finishing touches on a sensational month of July. Both teams are clashing on Sunday, July 31, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash.
A player to watch out for in the Galaxy midfielder is their enforcer, Nigel de Jong, whose physical play proved instrumental in their 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers away last weekend. Also factoring in for another impressive shift for the Galaxy is goalkeeper Brian Rowe, whose five saves make him one of the more underrated shot-stoppers in the competition.
“I’m experienced enough, and I’ve been in this type of situation in many times in my career,” said de Jong. “A hostile environment not only has an effect on me, but also on the team to lift their levels up,” De Jong said. “You could see that [Saturday] as well. You come into an environment that’s hostile against one of your colleagues, and you lift your game up. How sweet is it when you win here as well in this environment?”
“He’s been good,” said Arena of Rowe. “He’s a young goalkeeper at 28 years old, which is still young for a goalkeeper, but young in experience. I think when Dan Kennedy got hurt and [Rowe] had this run of games, it was critically important. I think that a good turn in form for him was in Montreal where we lost the game at the end of the game. We’ve lost our three games this year, two of them in the 95th minute. He made a mistake and we stuck with him and gave him confidence. Since then he’s really taken off, I think and played quite well. He continues to grow. He’s athletic, which you can see. He’s beginning to read the game well and he’s made some big saves.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET. The Live Blog of this match is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET. This is the final part of Three Live Blogs In Four Days here on TST. Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.