Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid labelled Los Angeles Galaxy "a physical team" on Wednesday ahead of Sunday's clash.
Schmid's men will face Galaxy for the fourth time in six weeks on Sunday in the second leg of the MLS' Western Conference final, and Seattle will be looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in California last week.
Marcelo Sarvas struck the winner for LA in the first leg - Galaxy's third victory in their past seven meetings with Seattle, while the Sounders only have one.
The Sounders defeated the Galaxy 2-0 in Seattle in their final match of the regular season to clinch the Supporters' Shield.
The rivals will again line up against each other at CenturyLink Field on Sunday and Schmid wants the referee to keep an eye on the Galaxy, claiming they can flirt with the darker arts of football when required.
"I think they're a physical team. I know they're trying to paint us as a physical team but, I think, they're the type of team that if you string together three or four passes in midfield, someone's going down," Seattle's coach said at a media conference.
"You know, they're not going to let you get into a counter-attacking situation...and they're very smart that way, they know how to pick up that tactical foul."
Both teams have some injury concerns heading into the match with A.J. DeLaGarza and Sarvas of the Galaxy struggling with hamstring and hip injuries, while Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso (hamstring) could also be in doubt, as is Sounders attacker Lamar Neagle, who missed last week's game due to an undisclosed personal matter.
Schmid refused to discuss the prospects of Alonso or Neagle.
Seattle are aiming to reach their first MLS Cup by overcoming Galaxy, while LA have reached eight previous finals, winning four (equal with DC United for the most titles).
On Saturday, New England Revolution will host New York Red Bulls in the second leg of the Eastern Conference final.
New England won 2-1 at Red Bull Arena last week, thanks to Jermaine Jones 86th-minute tap-in after a counter-attack.
The Red Bulls have lost their past two matches and will need to overcome their terrible away form - one win in their past 12 games - if they are to reach the MLS Cup.comments