Sounders-Galaxy and 4th of July fireworks

Jul 3, 2011, 7:27 AM | Updated: 8:48 am


Star midfielder Landon Donovan, right, returns to MLS action against the Seattle Sounders FC on Monday, after a stint with the U.S. national team during the Gold Cup Tournament. (AP Photo/File)

(AP Photo/File)

A sensational match between two MLS Western Conference teams captures our attention on the 4th of July. Seattle Sounders FC would like to declare their independence from the shadow of the mighty Los Angeles Galaxy.

In the opening game of the 2011 season, L.A. got a stunning goal from Juninho in the 58th minute to steal a 1-nil victory at Seattle’s Xbox pitch. The Galaxy victory was only a part of their recent success over Sounders FC.

Seattle coach Sigi Schmid won’t use that loss as a motivator entering this significant match.

“I think the guys know what the results have been against L.A. recently,” said coach Schmid. “They’re a team that plays with a little bit of swagger. I think we’re starting to develop that, and just have to go in there and play well.”

During our Coaches Corner Show, I asked Schmid to elaborate on how his Sounders FC team has grown since week one.

“I think it’s our mental strength,” Schmid offered. “We’ve had to overcome some obstacles and hurdles. The losses of key players like O’Brian White and Steve Zakuani at key moments. We’ve asked some other people to step up and they’ve delivered. As a result, the team has really started to believe in themselves as a group.”

The Galaxy are facing some adversity of their own. Veteran goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is out 4-6 weeks after breaking his left arm in a scoreless draw against San Jose. L.A. also lost back-up Josh Saunders for the Seattle match with a red card ejection.

It means the Galaxy will call on 21-year-old UCLA product Brian Perks. Schmid, who formerly coached at UCLA and with the Galaxy, knows plenty about the kid from Mission Viejo, California.

“He’s a very talented goalkeeper, but not the biggest keeper in the world. Very willing to come off his line, sort of a cross between John Busch and a Nick Rimando type of goalkeeper.”

The coach believes Los Angeles will concentrate it’s defense in front of Perks to help the young goalkeeper.

“What we have to do is test him as much as possible,” Sigi emphasized. “You know when you’re young and have to make a lot of decisions, some times you make the wrong one.”

Seattle’s offense has improved in the past month with Mauro Rosales creating chances with his crosses. Tyson Wahl, Fredy Montero, and Roger Levesque have all scored on corners and free kicks.

The Galaxy attack is bolstered with the return of Landon Donovan from the United States Gold Cup tournament. There is always the threat of David Beckham’s set pieces. Fans will also be treated to post-game fireworks at Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

As for the pyrotechnics show, coach Schmid had this suggestion. “We want to be able to enjoy the fireworks after the game with a victory. It makes it a lot nicer to look at those things blowing up in the sky.”

Listen to Arlo White’s description of Seattle Sounders FC against Los Angeles Galaxy at 7:30 July 4th on 97.3 KIRO FM. Right after the game, Dave Ross hosts the Independence Day fireworks show from Seattle’s Gasworks Park.

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Sounders-Galaxy and 4th of July fireworks