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Landon Donovan doesn't suit up for conference final

November 18, 2012|By Kevin Baxter
  • Landon Donovan did not dress for Sunday's Western Conference final against Seattle.
Landon Donovan did not dress for Sunday's Western Conference final… (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)

SEATTLE -- Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, who has been plagued by injury all season, did not dress for the Western Conference final against the Seattle Sounders on a wet and chilly Sunday night at CenturyLink Field.

The scenario the Galaxy faces -- it takes a three-goal lead into the second of two matches in a Major League Soccer playoff series that will be decided on total scores -- might have had something to do with that decision. But the weather conditions and the punishing nature of Seattle's artificial turf might also be a factor.

The Galaxy advances to the Dec. 1 MLS Cup final by simply hanging to some part of the 3-0 advantage it will take into the second match. With Houston defeating D.C. United in the Eastern Conference final earlier Sunday, the Galaxy's superior regular-season record would give it the right to play host to the championship game Dec. 1 at the Home Depot Center.

The Galaxy beat Houston, 1-0, in last fall's MLS Cup on the same field.

Donovan exited the first match with Seattle last week in the 84th minute with tightness in a hamstring. He didn't train during the week, with Coach Bruce Arena calling his availability a game-time decision.

Also out of the starting lineup in the midfield was Juninho, who missed the second half last Sunday with an Achilles' tendon problem. Without Donovan and Juninho, the Galaxy went with a midfield of Christian Wilhelmsson, David Beckham, Mike Magee and Marcelo Sarvas. Edson Buddle will start at forward alongside Robbie Keane.

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