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Up next for Galaxy: Sunday at Seattle

Galaxy tonight

AT SEATTLE

When: 5 p.m.

Where: Qwest Field.

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On the air: TV: ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes Radio – AM 1220 (Spanish).

Records: Galaxy 18-7-5; Seattle 14-10-6.

Regular season record: Galaxy 2-0-0.

Update: The Galaxy open the MLS playoffs — a two-match home-and-home series — against a team it outscored 7-1 in a pair of regular-season wins. But the Sounders are a changed team since the second of those meetings in July, having lost just twice in its final 15 matches. “It’s a new season and we’ve got to be ready to play a team that’s been very good the last half of the season,” Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said. The second-year franchise’s surge coincides with the trade that sent Fredrik Ljungberg to the Chicago Fire and the addition of Swiss striker Blaise Nkufo. Seattle’s uncommon pace on the wings could give the Galaxy problems, as could keeper Kasey Keller. And finally there’s the issue of Seattle’s soft artificial turf, which can both speed up the game and become a hazard should the predicted rain materialize. Working in the Galaxy’s favor, however, is the team’s success on the road, where they lost a league-low three times in 15 matches; the return to form of playmaker David Beckham; and the potent combination of league assist leader Landon Donovan and striker Edson Buddle, whose 17 goals were second-most in the MLS this season..

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—Kevin Baxter


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