This is the big one.

Forget about Man U (trust me, it’s better to forget). On Monday night, league-topping-team the Seattle Sounders will host the historically-behemothic LA Galaxy in a showdown that’s set to send shockwaves across the Western Conference no matter what the outcome. I think Robbie Keane put it best:

“The bread and butter is on Monday, against Seattle.”
—Robbie Keane

There’s always somebody saying it: “This year’s Seattle’s year.” Except in 2014, they’re right. With 12 wins, 4 losses and only 2 ties, Seattle’s phenomenally talented lineup has absolutely wreaked devastation across the league. On Monday night LA’s back line will have their hands full — not only will they have two strikers to keep contained (that’s Clint Dempsey, of World Cup fame, and Obafemi Martins); they’ll also need to keep a close eye on DeAndre Yedlin. The young right back hasn’t quite boarded a plane for Europe yet (but that’s coming), and he’s the rare defender who’s equally sharp going both ways.

The truth is it’s tough to pick only three players to talk about — the Sounders’ attack is just too dynamic. At times their 4–4–2 collapses into a 4–6–0, a formation so old it’s new again. If the Galaxy aren’t prepared to deal with that, this game could get ugly.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for LA. Omar Gonzalez was back in training this week, and with any luck he’ll be recovered and available to line up against Seattle. This is the guy Landon Donovan called “the best defender in the league.” Monday night would be a perfect time to prove it.

“We have to move on very, very quickly from this game,” said Robbie Keane, after Manchester United humiliated LA, 7–0. He’s right about that. Following the Galaxy has been an emotional rollercoaster as of late: from the highs of their resounding 5–1 win over New England (just 11 days ago!) to Wednesday’s terrible low point. On Monday, LA need to seek what their summer’s sorely missed — consistency.