Seattle Sounders: Who Will Be the Difference Maker Against Los Angeles?


The Seattle Sounders face the Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday afternoon in Carson, CA in the first leg of the Western Conference Final. These two teams are clearly the best in the Western Conference if not the entire league (sorry New England and New York). These two teams ended the 2014 MLS regular season in a home and home series for the Supporters Shield. The Sounders ended up getting the better of the Galaxy as they won 2-0 in the final regular season match.

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Marco Pappa was a huge factor in the previous two matches against the Galaxy and I even considered him to be the difference maker in the playoffs. I feel that Pappa is better suited coming off the bench like did for the final two games of the season. The last two matches he started and just didn’t seem to have the same pace or energy as he has of late. However, this is not about Pappa.

It is about who I believe with be the difference maker against the Galaxy these next two matches. That player is none other than Stefan Frei. Frei has been playing pretty well as of late. He has conceded just once in the last 270 minutes and that came on a penalty in the 34th minute of the first leg against FC Dallas.

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  • Coming into the final match of the season against the Galaxy, the Sounders had not had a clean sheet since their 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on August 31. Frei made some huge saves against the Galaxy in that October 25th match-up at CenturyLink Field. The Sounders were dominated in every aspect in the match except the score line. Frei finished the match with four saves and snuffed out plenty of other scoring opportunities for the Galaxy.

    Frei stepped up huge again against Dallas as he made a key save late in stoppage time to secure the 1-1 tie on the road. In the second leg against Dallas, Frei came up huge once again. He has been playing extremely well the last few weeks and I expect to see him continue that play.

    Prior to the home and home series against the Galaxy, I talked with a friend about how it would be great for Frei to get a clean sheet against arguably one of the best teams in the league. I felt it would give him confidence leading into the playoffs. It appears as if I was correct. I haven’t seen Frei play this way the entire year and I fully expect him to get at least one clean sheet in the next two matches for the Seattle Sounders.