- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 15, 2011
- 2 Comments
- 2011 MLS First Kick, 2011 MLS Previews, Blaise Nkufo, David Beckham, Fredy Montero, Game Previews, Juan Pablo Angel, Kasey Keller, Landon Donovan
It is finally here, Major League Soccer’s first kick of 2011. The long wait (or short wait if you think the offseason has been rather quick like I do) is over and the games will pick up in a hurry starting tonight. It seems to be a new tradition for MLS, the first kick of the new season begins at Qwest Field for the third straight season as the Seattle Sounders play host to the LA Galaxy.
The Sounders look for revenge against the Galaxy, who knocked them out of the MLS Playoffs a season ago. On the flip side, the Galaxy are hoping to keep their hot streak alive against the Sounders.
The bar has been set high for both clubs going into this season. LA has title hopes and fans in Seattle expect even bigger things for the two-time US Open Cup champions. The Galaxy have beefed up their lineup a bit with guys veterans like Juan Pablo Angel and Frankie Hejduk. Seattle on the other hand made a few moves while keeping most of their 2010 bunch intact.
Tonight will be all about controlling the tempo of the game for these two. LA will want to silence the Qwest Field crowd yet again (last year they dominated Seattle here) by keeping possession and pressuring the Sounder backline that let in their fair share of goals last year. If LA gets off to a quick start it could be a long night for the hosts. The Sounders have to use their speed on the wings (if Steve Zakuani is able to play tonight of course) and find ways in space to get Fredy Montero and Blaise Nkufo involved in the attack.
With JPA, Donovan Ricketts and Omar Gonzalez all likely to miss tonight’s game for LA, it gives Seattle a solid shot of being in this one. Bruce Arena’s club has had Sigi Schmid’s number these last two years but tonight feels like a draw to me. LA will get on the boards in the first half in this one with LA mounting a comeback late.
Player to watch out for: Landon Donovan, the dude just loves the spotlight in games like this.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 1, LA 1