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Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC: The history between two Western Conference powerhouses

One of the most important and entertaining power struggles in the Western Conference continues on Sunday night when the Seattle Sounders welcome LAFC to CenturyLink Field (10 pm ET | FS1, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada).

Neither side emerged victorious from the MLS is Back Tournament earlier this month, which means both clubs will be looking to restake their claim as the league's best. LAFC made their most recent argument by winning the 2019 Supporters' Shield. Seattle made theirs by taking the 2019 MLS Cup.

Along the way, each team has enjoyed some pretty special moments in one of the newer but nonetheless intriguing fixtures in MLS. Here's a look back at every match between the sides to date:

Seattle Sounders 0, LAFC 1

Regular Season: March 4, 2018

The very first meeting between the sides was actually LAFC's first MLS game, as the Black & Gold came to CenturyLink Field as the league's newest expansion club. 

It was a golden opportunity to make a statement in the venue of a club that was coming off back-to-back MLS Cup final appearances and, as it turned out, LAFC would do just that. Diego Rossi found LAFC's first goal in club history just 11 minutes into the contest with a clinical finish past Stefan Frei, providing the traveling fans and the club with a historic moment. The landmark tally from Rossi wound up standing as the game-winner, as the Sounders never found an equalizer. The goal was the fastest ever scored by an expansion club, beating Fredy Montero's goal for Seattle in their inaugural match in 2009 by 33 seconds.

LAFC 1, Seattle Sounders 0

Regular Season: April 29, 2018

It was another historic occasion in the next matchup between the sides, as this time Seattle traveled down to Southern California for LAFC's first home match at Banc of California Stadium, looking to avenge that home defeat.

After a hard-fought 90 minutes, the sides looked destined to finish in a scoreless deadlock. But in second-half stoppage time, LAFC won a dangerous free kick, giving defender Laurent Ciman one last chance at finding the game-winner. The center back delivered a knuckling shot on Frei that the veteran goalkeeper uncharacteristically let slip under his gloves and trickle into the net, giving LAFC the go-ahead tally and sending the home crowd into a full-on frenzy.

LAFC 4, Seattle Sounders 1

Regular Season: April 21, 2019

After the tense and close first two matches, the third matchup between the sides was decidedly less so as LAFC steamrolled Seattle 4-1 at the Banc on April 21, 2019. 

The Sounders were down a couple of their most important players coming into the match, as striker Raul Ruidiaz and three-time MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall were each out with injuries, along with Ruidiaz's backup Will Bruin. In the end, it was too much for Seattle to overcome, as eventual Landon Donovan MLS MVP Carlos Vela had a field day, cashing home a pair of goals. Eduard Atuesta and Christian Ramirez also found the net for LAFC, while Seattle's Harry Shipp had the lone goal for the Rave Green in the 51st minute.

Seattle Sounders 1, LAFC 1

Regular Season: April 28, 2019  

Matchup No. 4 was a weird one, as the teams struck for both the game's goals inside four minutes after kickoff before battling to a 1-1 stalemate.

It couldn't have gotten off to a better start for the Sounders, as Jordan Morris took a misplaced backpass from Eddie Segura into a wide-open breakaway attempt against former Seattle teammate Tyler Miller and cashed home the opener in the first minute. But Seattle wouldn't be able to hold the advantage, as Vela struck for the equalizer just three minutes later.

Seattle were then forced to defend for their lives for the rest of the match after midfielder Cristian Roldan was issued a straight red card for making contact with the face of an opponent -- a red card that would later be rescinded by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. The Sounders defended valiantly for the next 78 minutes, but found themselves down to nine men after right back Kelvin Leerdam saw red for taking down Rossi on a denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity just before the final whistle. The foul set LAFC up with a free-kick look at a game-winner, but Vela put it over the bar and allowed Seattle to escape with the 1-1 result.

LAFC 1, Seattle Sounders 3

Western Conference Final: Oct. 29, 2019

Last year's meeting between the sides in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs was one for the ages for Seattle, as the Rave Green put in arguably the greatest single-game performance in club history.

Traveling to the Banc as heavy underdogs against a dominant, Supporters' Shield-winning LAFC side that had put up the greatest single season in league history, Seattle were on the ropes after Atuesta curled home a gorgeous free kick past Frei to give the hosts the lead after 17 minutes. But from there, the Sounders dominated the rest of the game, striking for three unanswered via Nicolas Lodeiro and a pair from Ruidiaz. All three goals were class finishes, but the entire match was a tactical masterclass from Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer, as Seattle's defense managed to keep LAFC off balance and uncomfortable for most of the night. There were so many moments in this one that will live forever in Seattle lore, whether it was Ruidiaz's clincher or Schmetzer's now-iconic "Feeling better than Bob" quote he delivered in an adrenaline-fueled postgame interview. 

Seattle would go onto to beat Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final, giving the legendary victory over LAFC that much more meaning.

Seattle Sounders 1, LAFC 4

MLS is Back Tournament Round of 16: July 27, 2020

Bob Bradley's men had nine months to stew on their pursuit of a first MLS Cup being cut rudely short, and they displayed an extra edge when the sides last met in the MLS is Back Tournament round of 16, even despite Carlos Vela forgoing the event.

Diego Rossi struck for a brace in a performance that helped him seal the MLS is Back Golden Boot, while Latif Blessing and Brian Rodriguez also scored. Seattle may have had a punchers' chance when Will Bruin cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 75th minute, but in truth it was a dominant LAFC performance. They led 23-10 in shots and 8-4 in efforts on target, while keeping both Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro without an attempt at goal.

LAFC's momentum would halt in the following round when they conceded a 90th minute equalizer before falling to eventual finalist Orlando City on penalties at the quarterfinal stage.

Series: 

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