ExLink - 04/29/18 - LAFCvSEA

LAFC vs. Seattle Sounders FC
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 9
Banc of California Stadium - Los Angeles
April 29 - 9 pm ET
WATCH: FS1, MLS LIVE on DAZN (in Canada)

After a very respectable four wins in six road matches, LAFC are ready for a housewarming party and will christen Banc of California Stadium against Seattle Sounders FC, who will be hungry to spoil the party and avenge a season-opening 1-0 loss at CenturyLink Field.

LAFC closed out their season-opening road trip with a come-from-behind 5-3 win over the 10-man Montreal Impact, while the Sounders snapped a four-match winless streak to beat Minnesota United FC, 3-1, Sunday at home.

In the first-ever meeting between LAFC and Seattle, Diego Rossi struck for the game’s lone goal in the 11th minute and Tyler Miller made seven saves against his former club in the historic victory.


Apparently, Bob Bradley’s side likes to do things in twos. After opening the season with consecutive wins followed by back-to-back defeats, LAFC won their second in a row Saturday by spoiling the Impact’s opener at Stade Saputo.

Benny Feilhaber, Carlos Vela and Latif Blessing found the back of the net as part of a four-goal explosion after halftime for LAFC, which benefitted from a Jukka Raitala own goal. Laurent Ciman also had a special return to Montreal, scoring against his former club in the 24th minute as LAFC rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits as a result of an Ignacio Piatti hat trick.

“In these six games, we’ve had periods of good football,” Bradley said after the game. “We still have other moments when things get away from us, but the starting point is pretty good.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Luis Lopez (right tibial stress fracture); QUESTIONABLE: D - Joao Moutinho (left quad strain)

Projected Starting XI
(3-4-3, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller — Dejan Jakovic, Walker Zimmerman, Laurent Ciman — Steven Beitashour, Benny Feilhaber, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Jordan Harvey — Diego Rossi, Marcos Urena, Carlos Vela

  • Notes: Vela and Rossi each have two goals scored from outside the box this season. Only one other player (Yamil Asad) has scored multiple goals from outside the box. … LAFC have scored 2.76 goals more than their expected goals total, the third-best differential in the league.

Seattle Sounders FC

It took a bit longer than anyone expected, but Seattle Sounders FC (1-3-1) finally picked up their first MLS win of 2018, a much-needed 3-1 victory over Minnesota United FC Sunday.

Gustav Svensson and Will Bruin scored two minutes apart to stake the Rave Green an early advantage and Jordy Delem’s first MLS goal deep into second-half stoppage time allowed the fans to finally exhale and celebrate the victory.

Brian Schmetzer made three changes to his starting XI that played Sporting Kansas City to a 2-2 draw the previous week. Kelvin Leerdam returned from suspension to start at right back, Osvaldo Alonso, who was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 8, made his first start after coming back from injury, and Alex Roldan earned his second start in the midfield alongside his brother Cristian.

Not starting, though, was Clint Dempsey, who came off the bench for the final 30 minutes and set up Delem’s insurance marker.

Schmetzer wasn’t quite ready to dub Dempsey a super sub, but also understands it’s not a role the veteran would embrace.

“I don’t think Clint Dempsey is ok with anything but starting and scoring goals,” Schmetzer said. “That’s what he’s done his entire career.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Jordan Morris (torn ACL), M - Harry Shipp (ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: D - Kim Kee-Hee (right calf strain); D - Waylon Francis (right hamstring strain), M - Victor Rodriguez (right knee sprain), 

Projected Starting XI
(4-2–3-1, right to left)
GK: Stefan Frei — Kelvin Leerdam, Roman Torres, Chad Marshall, Nouhou Tolo — Gustav Svensson, Osvaldo Alonso — Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan — Will Bruin

  • Notes: Nico Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan each had five key passes in Seattle’s win over Minnesota last weekend, the first pair of Sounders teammates to do so in a MLS match. … Including last year’s postseason run, Seattle has now either been held scoreless or scored multiple goals in their last 16 matches. They have yet to keep a clean sheet this season after being the joint leaders in the category a year ago with 13.

All-Time Series

  • This is the second all-time meeting between LAFC and Seattle Sounders FC with LAFC winning their inaugural match, 1-0, at CenturyLink Field on March 4.


Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Alex Chilowicz