The Seattle Sounders have made a strong case for themselves as MLS' best team. While the Los Angeles Galaxy haven't fared quite as well, they've been the Sounders' kryptonite in recent years.
Seattle looks for a club record seventh straight home victory Monday night when it faces Los Angeles in a matchup between the league's two most successful teams over the last six seasons.
The Sounders (12-4-2) lead the league table with 38 points from 18 matches, and their 35 goals are also the most in MLS. Their 86 wins since their inaugural season in 2009 rank second behind only Los Angeles' 87.
"It's a good measuring stick for us and I'm sure a measuring stick for them as well," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid told the league's official website. "You've got real 'Monday Night Football.' It's going to be great."
Schmid will be looking for his 200th career MLS victory. Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena ranks second in league history with 166 wins, but owns the edge against Schmid, with the Galaxy going 5-3-4 against the Sounders since they entered the league. They also eliminated Seattle from the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2010 and '12.
The Sounders are 1-3-2 in their last six matchups with Los Angeles and were outscored 6-2 in three meetings last season. However, they're 3-0-1 in their last four home contests against the Galaxy (7-4-6). The Sounders are also unbeaten in Seattle since March 29, matching the franchise-record six-game home win streak set last season.
"It's a team that's been a thorn in our side as we've tried to advance and win a championship here," defender Zach Scott told the team's official website.
Seattle played a 3-all draw in a friendly with Tottenham on July 19 but this marks its first league fixture since a 2-0 win over Portland on July 13. Clint Dempsey scored his ninth goal in his first MLS action since May 11 after representing the U.S. National Team in the World Cup.
Los Angeles' Robbie Keane insisted Wednesday night's lopsided 7-0 friendly loss to Manchester United at the Rose Bowl had little effect on the team's psyche.
"It's no reflection of how we've been doing and the hope is that the players forget about it. After all, what's the point? We didn't win anything, we didn't lose anything," he told the team's official website. "We lost the game, but we couldn't get any points from it so in that respect it didn't really matter."
Los Angeles' longest undefeated run in league play since 2011 ended at eight matches in a 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City on July 19. Keane scored in the 79th minute, marking his third goal in his last two matches and 10th this season.
"The more I get on the ball, the more I can make things happen," said Keane, who has seven goals in his last five matchups with Seattle. "I've done that my whole career and the way we play certainly suits my style of play. But at the end of the day, we've lost the game."
Landon Donovan is scoreless in 11 straight matches against Seattle and six straight overall.