It All Comes Down to This: One Final MLS Match
This is it.
After 33 grueling matches in the MLS season, we have finally reached the last game for every team in the league.
Although there are a myriad of other great matches to be watched next weekend, none hold as much importance as the October 25th tilt between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders in Seattle, WA.
After all that these two teams have been through - both have played incredible soccer over the last few months - it is only fitting that the two teams face off for one last game to truly settle who reigns atop the Western Conference, and ultimately, atop the league.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Galaxy thought that they had an easy path towards the Supporters' Shield. They scored two goals just before and right after halftime, and with a 2-0 lead, they seemed to be cruising towards a victory, seeminly one step closer to a 3 point lead over their foes from the Pacific Northwest.
On this night, however, the men in the Rave Green had other plans. In just a three minute stretch from the 69th minute to the 72nd minute, the Sounders erased the lead and tied it at 2 apiece, with goals coming from Clinty Dempsey and Lamar Neagle. Rather than an easy Galaxy win, this game turned out to be more of a fistfight towards the end. It was clear that both teams wanted the win badly, and the two sides were playing scrappily just to get another opportunity at goal. In an interesting challenge, Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez came sliding in to Gonzalo Pineda and got his second yellow card of the mathc, giving him a red card on the day and rendering him unavailable for action in next Saturday's game against the Sounders.
Even without their star center back, the Los Angeles Galaxy are still a major threat, especially with Landon Donovan playing in his final regular season MLS match.
However, these Soudners, who have never won the Supporters Shield or an MLS Cup Title, are hungrier than ever to prove that they deserve to be at the top. Heading into Saturday's matchup, the Sounders hold a 19-10-4 record while the Galaxy bring a 17-6-10 record into Seattle. Both teams currently have 61 points each. Although Los Angeles' goal difference is 21 goals greater than the Sounders, the only thing that will matter (after the total points) is the number of wins that each team has at the end of the season.
The mission for the Sounders is simple: Win or tie. If they can do that, then the Supporters' Shield will be theirs for the first time in the team's history.
On Saturday, the city of Seattle will be chaotic. After the Mariners failed to make the playoffs and with the Seahawks in a bit of a slump as of late, the Sounders have to bring everything to the field and give all they've got. Expect the fans to be louder than in previous games.
This match truly means something for Seattle. Even though they can get the Supporters' Shield with a tie, the Sounders will have only one goal in mind: