Sounders Insider

Beautiful weather, questionable pitch awaits SSFC

The weather in Southern California is just about perfect today, and something similar is expected to remain through the Sounders-Galaxy game on Saturday night.

However, the pitch could be another matter. ... Which is to say, there was no completed pitch when I passed by Home Depot Center around midday.

Apparently the natural grass field was lost under a sea of dirt brought in for a motocross event there. So as of noon Friday, work crews were still laying down strips of sod and the edges of the field were nothing but dirt.

As my neighbors know only too well, I'm no lawn expert; but that seems a little rushed: dirt and strips of grass one day, important professional soccer match the next.

But we'll see. Plus, there may not be that much to lose, considering the Sounders seemed to have plenty of trouble keeping their feet on the previous pitch during their two earlier visits against Chivas USA.

Meanwhile, a quick look ahead to the game:

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (7-5-8; 29 pts.)


8 p.m. Saturday, Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.

KONG 6/16.

Radio: 97.3 FM (in Spanish on 1210 AM).

Head-to-head: The teams played to a 1-1 draw on May 10 at Qwest Field.

Team leaders: For Seattle – G 9 Fredy Montero; A 6 Montero/Nate Jaqua; S 60 Montero; SOG 21 Montero. For L.A. – G 9 Landon Donovan; A 5 Donovan/Mike Magee; S 38 Alan Gordon; SOG 18 Donovan.

Coach Sigi Schmid scouting report: "You're looking at Eddie Lewis, (Gregg) Berhalter, (David) Beckham, (Landon) Donovan, people like that, and (Donovan) Ricketts in goal. There is a lot of international experience. … They have got individual players who have been explosive. They are a team, right now, that is confident. And I think that more than anything else, that confidence is what is carrying them through."

Notes: The Galaxy is in second place in the Western Conference, but Seattle would pass them with a win tonight. … Donovan is questionable due to swine flu. Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado is out due to yellow-card accumulation. … This is the third straight road game in league play for the Sounders, who have lost two in a row and are winless in their last three MLS matches. Seattle hasn't scored in four straight games. … L.A. has won five and drawn once in its last six games. This will be the first league home game for L.A.'s David Beckham since his return from AC Milan. … Sounders coach Sigi Schmid began his pro coaching career with the Galaxy, going 79-53-38 and winning the 2002 MLS Cup. Sounders players who have worn the L.A. colors are Peter Vagenas (2000-2008), Tyrone Marshall (2002-07), Nathan Sturgis (2006-07) and Nate Jaqua (2007).

Next: 7 p.m. Thursday, New England Revolution, Qwest Field; ESPN2.