Preview: L.A. Galaxy vs. Seattle
The Los Angeles Galaxy hit the road to face the Seattle Sounders in the ESPN MLS Game of the Week on Sunday (9 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN). Here is our statistical preview of the pivotal Western Conference clash:
• Sounders forward Eddie Johnson returned to MLS this season after four years in Europe and soon rediscovered his goal-scoring form. Johnson has been an especially effective finisher with his head this season. Johnson has scored six of his team-high nine goals via headers, which is tied for the most in the league.
Midfielder Mauro Rosales' open-play crosses and corner kicks could be the reason for Johnson's goal-scoring resurgence. Rosales has assisted on five of Johnson's headed goals this season; three assists have come from open-play crosses with the other two coming from corner kicks.
• Let's put David Beckham's long-range scoring prowess this season into perspective: Beckham has scored a league-leading six goals from 20-plus yards, which is equal to or greater than the total goals from that distance of 16 other MLS teams.
• The Sounders recently added midfielder Christian Tiffert of Germany as a designated player and are counting on him to show the same creativity he displayed in his past two seasons with Kaiserslautern in the German Bundesliga.
Tiffert, who has 12 years of top-flight experience in Germany and Austria, created the most scoring chances in the Bundesliga the past two seasons with 161.
• Collectively and individually, the Galaxy have been extremely sharp in the attacking third of the field and the penalty area this season. The Galaxy have the fewest turnovers (91) in the attacking third; Galaxy forward Robbie Keane has nine goals this season, all of which have been scored inside the penalty area.