Playoffs - 2020 - Round One - SEA vs LAFC

Seattle Sounders FC vs. LAFC | How to watch and stream

Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs  – Round One
Seattle Sounders FC vs, LAFC
Lumen Field – Seattle
November 24 – 10:30 PM ET

TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN 1/5, TVA Sports


A year after meeting in the Western Conference Final, the Seattle Sounders and LAFC square off in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for a second straight year, with a blockbuster Round One showdown at Lumen Field Nov. 24.

The Sounders picked up where they left off last year as MLS Cup champions and enter the postseason as one of the favorites to lift the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy again. Brian Schmetzer's side is as dangerous as they come in the attacking third with a pick-your-poison array of game changers, including Raul Ruidiaz, Jordan Morris, Nico Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan just to name a few. if the Rave Green have a flaw, its inconsistency in central defense. The Sounders went through a bit of a late-season swoon with one win in six before a thorough 4-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Decision Day presented by AT&T.  

Unlike the Sounders, LAFC struggled to pick up from last year's record-breaking Supporters' Shield-winning season. Their depth has been tested been with Carlos Vela, Eduard Atuesta and Mark-Anthony Kaye out for large stretches because of injuries. However, Diego Rossi stepped in as the star attacking player and captured the Golden Boot presented by Audi with 14 goals from 19 appearances. It is the first time in league history a player from the same team won the award in consecutive years. Now Bob Bradley's side enter the postseason with a healthy Vela, who scored in his first start since Aug. 22 in a Decision Day draw against the Portland Timbers. But all four players who participated in South American World Cup qualifiers — Rossi, Diego Palacios, Brian Rodriguez and Jose Cifuentes — tested positive for COVID-19 and are unavailable. 

The two MLS heavyweights have met three times in the regular season in 2020, with Seattle winning both matches at home and LAFC taking the lone matchup at the Banc of California Stadium. The teams also met in the Round of 16 at the MLS is Back Tournament when LAFC were the emphatic 4-1 victors. Last year, the Sounders booked a ticket to MLS Cup for the third time in four years with a 3-1 win in the Western Conference Final at Banc of California Stadium. Ruidiaz struck for a brace in the win. 

Seattle Sounders FC

Struggles? What struggles? The Sounders closed out the regular season with an emphatic 4-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Decision Day, a clear statement of intent of their MLS Cup aspirations. The Rave Green exploded for four goals after halftime to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and set up this titanic clash. 

"I think we expect a tough opponent," Cristian Roldan said of LAFC. "They're certainly not a seventh seed in our eyes. We have to respect them as well as play them without fear. I think with those two characteristics that we have, we can take them on. It's going to be a tough game. We can't be complacent initially in the game. It's playoff time. We need big players to reach that next level and I think great teams go from a good regular season team to a great playoff time. We need that extra level from the whole team. That's extremely important, because LAFC is an extremely tough opponent and we're not going to take them lightly."

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: None
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None


For much of a 1-1 Decision Day draw against the Timbers, LAFC looked a lot more like the team that put fear in the opposition and went on a record-setting Supporters’ Shield run last year than the one that struggled mightily throughout the 2020 season. Carlos Vela struck early, but LAFC were punished for hitting the woodwork on numerous occasions and settled for the draw. 

"That's a real opportunity to think back to last year and the way the season ended with a chance to see what we can do to even things up," Bradley said about a rematch against the Sounders. 

Without Rodriguez and Rossi, Bradley could turn to 16-year-old Christian Torres to provide attacking punch. Could he be the fourth American teenager to score in the playoffs, and youngest to date, after Caden Clark, Ricardo Pepi and Gianluca Busio each scored in Round One matches over the weekend. 

"Christian, when he steps on the field, his awareness of situations, his reactions to plays around him, his confidence, those are things that we've seen and he continues, like all these young players we have, to improve," Bradley said after training Sunday. "We see the progress all these guys are making. As a player gets experience and shows what he can do, the group always has confidence that guy can step on the field and do a good job and Christian has earned that from all the rest of the guys on the team."

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Andy Najar (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Danny Musovksi (F) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Diego Palacios (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Diego Rossi (F) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Brian Rodriguez (F) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Jose Cifuentes (M) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

Series Matchup at Seattle Sounders

  • Sounders: 2 wins, 7 goals
  • LAFC: 1 win, 3 goals
  • 0 draws

MLS Cup Playoffs

  • Sounders: 1 win, 3 goals
  • LAFC: 0 wins, 1 goal
  • 0 draws


  • Referee: Kevin Stott
  • Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Philippe Briere
  • 4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
  • VAR: Jorge Gonzalez