Sounders FC

Sounders get star-studded Galaxy to open playoffs

It’s said that in order to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.

Sounders FC will get that chance right out of the box in the MLS Cup playoffs, as they open the first round against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Galaxy defeated FC Dallas, 2-1, Sunday in Carson, Calif. Along with the win came the Supporters’ Shield, which goes to the MLS club with the best regular-season record – in this case, 18-5-7.

Two of those wins came against Seattle: 4-0 at Qwest Field on May 8, and 3-1 at Home Depot Center on July 4.

However, that latter game is sometimes looked upon as the turning point in the Sounders’ season, and they went 10-2-3 thereafter. The Galaxy went 7-2-6 after that game.

“It’s a great matchup,” coach Sigi Schmid said through a club press release. “Obviously, the Galaxy had two wins against us in the regular season, so we will be motivated and prepared. We were the best team in MLS over the second half of the season. Fans will get to see the likes of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle. It’s going to be a great series.”

The clubs will meet in a two-game aggregate-score series. The first match will kick off at 5 p.m. Sunday at Qwest Field. The second will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at Home Depot Center.

The Halloween match is expected to mark Beckham’s first Qwest Field appearance against the Sounders. He missed the Galaxy’s visit to Seattle in each of the past two seasons because of loan or injury.

Beckham scored the goal that brought Los Angeles even Sunday. It came 11 minutes after Dallas had jumped ahead in the 22nd minute on a goal by Atiba Harris. The winner came in the 46th minute from Juninho.

The other semifinal pairings are New York-San Jose, Columbus-Colorado and Real Salt Lake-Dallas.

Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer

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