Sounders aim to return to winning ways vs. Galaxy

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Updated: October 25, 2013

Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) – Seattle Sounders FC have already clinched a
playoff berth, but will aim to break a lengthy losing streak when they host
the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle comes into its season finale against Los Angeles riding a four-match
losing streak — the first such streak in the club’s five-year history —
following a lackluster 2-0 defeat against FC Dallas last week.

Dallas took the lead in the 65th minute when Michel sent a free kick into the
box and Matt Hedges headed it inside the far post for his third goal of the
season, putting Dallas up 1-0.

After the goal, Seattle pressed forward and created a few quality scoring
chances, but were never able to find the elusive finishing touch, which came
back to haunt them when FCD put the game away with a second goal three minutes
from time.

Seattle also has some questions regarding lineup choices as U.S. international
striker Eddie Johnson left training early on Tuesday and wasn’t present at all
on Wednesday for unspecified reasons.

Johnson seems to have fallen out of favor with head coach Sigi Schmid as he
has not suited up for the Sounders since scoring his team-leading ninth goal
of the season in a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 5.

Schmid, however, has downplayed the situation:

“It’s not an issue at all, because we’re focused as a team to do well and to
be successful,” the coach said on Wednesday. “He’s been a big part of our
team. It’s one of the things we’ll work through.”

Los Angeles, meanwhile, will aim to close out the regular season on a
positive note after earning a scoreless draw with San Jose last week which saw
the club clinch a fifth consecutive playoff berth.

Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was the star of the match last week, making four
saves, including a pair of diving stops on San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski and
Steven Lenhart.

Desperate for three points to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, the
‘Quakes poured it on at the end, launching long balls into the box, but the
Galaxy back line — with some help from Penedo — kept the shutout.

But the accomplishment is somewhat bittersweet for the Galaxy as they were
unable to capitalize on several scoring opportunities against San Jose,
something they will hope to correct before the playoffs arrive.

“That’s our main aim, to get to the playoffs, but obviously disappointed not
to get the three points. [It] could have gone either way,” said Galaxy captain
Robbie Keane, who forced a pair of saves from San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch.
“I think we were a bit more clever in the last 15 minutes in the counter-
attack, I think we could have scored a couple of goals because they were gung-
ho and threw everybody on and they were getting balls in the box.”

Forward Landon Donovan echoed those same sentiments:

“Well, we clinched a spot [in the playoffs] but we wanted more and I think we
feel like we let an opportunity slip through our hands,” said Donovan. “I
think the expectation is to make the playoffs and we had the chance to do
something more, so we are disappointed by we have to move on and we have to
big games this week so we have to move on.”