Trailing Real Salt Lake 3-0 heading into tonight’s Western Conference semifinal second leg (1o:00 ET, ESPN2), Seattle Sounders FC will need an extraordinary result to advance.
Coach Sigi Schmid told MLS’s Matt Doyle that he’s been talking to his players about famous recent comebacks, such as Liverpool’s three-goal blitzkrieg of a rally against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final.
Oddly, though, Schmid says he hasn’t talked to his team about the greatest comeback in MLS history, one that he was involved in, albeit on the wrong side.
In second leg of the 2003 Western Conference semis, Schmid’s LA Galaxy held a 2-0 lead over Landon Donovan, Jeff Agoos, and the San Jose Earthquakes. They quickly increased that to 4-0 on aggregate, scoring two goals in the first 13 minutes of the second leg.
Curtains for LD and Co., right? Unbelievably, no: Agoos and Donovan each scored before halftime, and San Jose added two more—including a 90th-minute (180th, really) equalizer by Chris Roner–to force extra time. Quakes striker Rodrigo Faria completed the sensational rally with a goal six minutes into the extra session.
Here are the (grainy) highlights:
There’s another reason Schmid’s men may want to take their cue from the 2003 Quakes. After completing the historic comeback, San Jose went on to win the MLS Cup that year.
Seattle’s task will be made more difficult by the absence of Mauro Rosales, the team leader in assists (13), who was ruled out today because of a knee strain. But it’s not impossible—as Schmid knows better than most.