A second-half equalizer from Brad Smith canceled out an early free kick from Eduard Atuesta, allowing the Seattle Sounders to escape Banc of California Stadium with a 1-1 draw in a heavyweight Western Conference clash with LAFC on Saturday.

LAFC took a shocking early lead just 85 seconds into the match after the hosts won a free kick just outside the penalty area when Xavier Arreaga was whistled for a foul on Kwadwo Opoku. Atuesta rolled the ensuing free kick right underneath Seattle's defensive wall, past diving Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei and into the net.

Seattle had their best look at an equalizer in the first half at the backend of a 24th-minute counterattack that saw Cristian Roldan unleash a rocket shot from distance that looked bound for goal, but wound up glancing off the post, keeping the contest scoreless through the halftime break.

The Sounders would find their leveler, however, as Smith cashed home a rebound finish in the 54th minute. The Australian ranged forward and headed home the equalizer after Raul Ruidiaz had his initial attempt blocked by Pablo Sisniega.

Seattle had a good late look at a winner through Ruidiaz, but the star striker couldn't quite get his headed look off a cross from Alex Roldan on target and the match would end in the 1-1 deadlock.

Goals

  • 2' - LAFC - Eduard Atuesta | WATCH
  • 54' - SEA - Brad Smith | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The matchup didn't have the star power that it normally does with the injury absences of LAFC's Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi and Seattle's Nicolas Lodeiro, but it was still a good early look at two of the teams expected to remain factors at the top of the Western Conference throughout the season. In the end, the result probably suits Seattle more given the unfortunate early concession and their role as the visiting team.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: LAFC were in the driver's seat until Smith's leveler, which was also the first MLS goal for the 27-year-old wingback.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Sounders homegrown midfielder Josh Atencio had a tough task going up against LAFC's talented midfielders in just his second MLS start, and acquitted himself well again, going toe-to-toe with the likes of Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye and Latif Blessing.

Next Up

  • LAFC: Saturday, May 1 at Houston Dynamo FC | 3:30 pm ET (Univision, TUDN, Twitter)
  • SEA: Sunday, May 2 vs. LA Galaxy | 9 pm ET (FS1, Fox Deportes)