The Sounders remain on the road with a matchup against the Los Angeles Galaxy in Carson, California, on Wednesday. Seattle, which already has clinched a postseason berth, remains in the running for Major League Soccer’s Western Conference lead. But the club lost momentum after a 3-1 loss to Colorado on Sunday.
Here are three things to know heading into the match with the Galaxy:
Black Lives Matter
The midweek match is due to the original Aug. 26 game being canceled after both teams participated in a strike across pro sports in solidarity of Black Lives Matter protests.
The NBA Milwaukee Bucks initiated the action among the athletes three days after a white Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back, paralyzing Blake. On Aug. 25, at a subsequent protest, officers appeared via video to protect a white teenage gunman after he killed two people.
Sounders players said the juxtaposition of the footage sparked their own outrage.
“How a white person is treated by police — walking around with a rifle — it’s crazy,” Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei said in a released statement in August. “For us — the dominoes will fall. And people and organizations that have large platforms, it’s easy to be one of the dominoes that falls over. But I don’t think we just want to be a domino. We have our thoughts and our own opinions on these things, and regardless of what everyone else is doing, we’re making a statement by wanting to raise awareness that we, as a country, haven’t come far since the murder of George Floyd (in May) and the initial groundswell calls to action. We have so much farther to go. Hopefully people can respect our opinions and wishes that there will be some serious change.”
The Galaxy also played Sunday night, so both teams are expected to be without key starters Wednesday. The Sounders (10-5-5) could also still be without Miguel Ibarra and Roman Torres.
Ibarra is away from the team due to a personal issue. Torres was described as having a non-COVID-related illness. Both situations occurred Sunday, not giving the Sounders time to clear replacements for the bench in time to travel to Colorado.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer previously stated players such as Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan are OK to play up to three games in a week.
“We’ve got to get them right physically first and we’ve got to get them right mentally,” Schmetzer said of the entire team after the loss to Colorado. “It’s doable. It’s possible. We can use our opponent tonight as an example. Certainly there will be some changes in the squad rotation for Wednesday.”
The Galaxy (6-11-3) is vying for a playoff spot like the Rapids, so Schmetzer expects L.A. to play aggressively, as Colorado did.
Despite playing in empty stadiums, the Sounders have struggled on the road this season. The club has one road victory since defeating the Galaxy 3-1 at Dignity Health Sports Park in September. Roldan scored a brace and Morris had the third goal in that match.
The Sounders, who are third in the Western Conference standings, are 3-3-2 on the road this season.