Sounders FC

Galaxy’s 1-2 punch gets Sounders’ attention

Landon Donovan is in Mexico City today, where the United States men’s national team will take on Mexico in a World Cup qualifier.

And David Beckham is in Amsterdam, where the English national team will take on Holland in an international friendly.

However, both will be back in Los Angeles before Saturday night, when Seattle Sounders’ FC visits the Galaxy.

Major League Soccer’s highest-profile duo haven’t lost together this season, with the surging Galaxy going 2-0-1 in league games since Beckham returned from being on loan to AC Milan.

“I think the resurgence for them has been Donovan has scored some very timely goals,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “And, Beckham on the field with Donovan: There is a good connection. You can actually look at stats and see that Donovan has scored a lot more goals playing with Beckham than without Beckham.”

Donovan has scored one goal in each game since Beckham an returned, one assisted by Beckham.

With that scoring spree, Donovan has moved into a third-place tie with Seattle’s Fredy Montero in the MLS goal-scoring race with nine goals each, although Donovan has played in three fewer games.

“(The Galaxy) started off the season playing very conservatively, very defensively,” Schmid said. “… Early on, maybe games that they shouldn’t have gotten points out of, they got points. That helped build their confidence. Now, some of the breaks are going their way and the ball is falling in the back of the net.

“They have got individual players who have been explosive. They are a team, right now, that is confident. And I think that, more than anything else, that confidence is what is carrying them through.”

These days, confidence may be coming harder for the Sounders, who are 0-2-1 in their last three league games, falling to fourth place in the MLS Western Conference.

Seattle has been outscored 9-0 over its last four games, including a friendly against FC Barcelona. The Sounders haven’t scored a goal since a U.S. Open Cup win over Houston on July 21 and haven’t scored in league play in more than a month: a 2-1 win over Houston on July 11.

“We’ve tried to do a lot of finishing with our forwards, let them just work on that, get the confidence, see the ball hitting the net,” Schmid said after watching his team train Tuesday.

“… Sometimes it’s something that ebbs and flows. There are times when goals are harder to come by, and there are times when they’re easier to come by; and we just have to be committed to continuing to work until the tide turns again.”

Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com

blogs.thenewstribune.com/soccer

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