Sounders aim to return to winning ways vs. Galaxy

5:19 PM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
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Seattle, WA ( - 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."

The Sports Network

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