MX23RW : Friday, December 3 13:30:57| >> :600:2326743:2326743:
Oct 27, 2021 at 3.30am UK at Banc of California Stadium
Los AngelesLos Angeles FC
3-0
SeattleSeattle Sounders
Rodriguez (21'), Blessing (45+3'), Arango (51')
Arango (70'), Palacios (79'), Fall (90+4')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Tolo (66')

Preview: Los Angeles FC vs. Seattle Sounders - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles FC and Seattle Sounders, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

It will be a quick turnaround for the Seattle Sounders, who are back in action on Tuesday to face Los Angeles FC, just three days after seeing their lead atop the Western Conference trimmed down to three points.

On Saturday, the Black-and-Gold squandered a one-goal advantage, drawing Minnesota United 1-1, while the Rave Green fell 2-1 to second-place Sporting Kansas City.


Match preview

Los Angeles FC defender Kim Moon-Hwan celebrates scoring a goal on June 24, 2021© Reuters

Los Angeles are nearing the must-win territory with three matches remaining in the regular season, trailing the Vancouver Whitecaps for the final playoff spot by three points heading into their fixture with Seattle.

On Saturday, we saw them suffer through similar struggles which have plagued them all season, as the quality of their passes and their link-up play was not nearly as sharp as we are used to seeing from this team in past seasons.

The message from Bob Bradley after the match to his players was to keep going, and with the regular season winding down, all they can do is put this result behind them and focus on what is ahead, a two-game homestand which is likely to determine whether or not they can qualify for the postseason once again.

Far too often, LA have lacked quality on the ball, and when pressed, they struggle to play a good first pass to get themselves out of pressure.

They come into this match unbeaten in their previous four encounters and should feel right at home at Banc of California Stadium with a record of 7-3-5 this year, having never lost a home fixture to the Sounders.

Even though LA were fortunate to come away with a single point against the Loons, you could see all 11 players fighting hard for one another, coming back into their defensive zone to help out as some last-ditch tackles kept the match level.

Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer on June 27, 2021© Reuters

Things just got very interesting at the top of the Western Conference standings as the Rave Green paid for their slow start, losing at Lumen Field for the first time in their last five matches in all competitions.

Seattle seemed to find their footing after conceding the opener on Saturday, but throughout the match, the aggression that we are used to seeing from them appeared to be lacking at times.

The intensity of the match however was evident, particularly when KC keeper Tim Melia slammed Cristian Roldan on the ground in a WWE-like take down that would have made The Rock proud.

Brian Schmetzer eventually saw his team get into the match as they had several opportunities with six shots on target, 12 chances created and three big chances, but only scoring once.

There is no time for the Sounders to dwell on this one as they look to put an end to their three-game winless run in LA, a place that has not been kind to them through the years, having been outscored 9-3 versus the Black-and-Gold in their four visits to Banc of California Stadium.

Seattle have overcome more critical injuries than almost anyone in the league this year, but they could use their leading goalscorer right about now as they have fired 13 shots on goal over their past three games but only scored three times.

Los Angeles FC Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L



Team News

Los Angeles FC manager Bob Bradley on May 9, 2021 © Reuters

In recent weeks, Cristian Arango has carried LA on his shoulders, with the Colombian striker scoring their only goal over the weekend, his sixth in his last three games as he now has 12 on the year.

LA will be without Jose Cifuentes for this match due to a yellow card suspension, Kwadwo Opoku, Erik Duenas and Francisco Ginella are out with left knee injuries, Eddie Segura has a right knee injury, Julian Gaines continues to miss time because of a pelvic stress fracture, Alvaro Quezada has a chest problem, Carlos Vela has a right quad strain and Eduard Atuesta is nursing a right shoulder issue.

Danny Musovski, who has four goals this season, had himself a monster game last year against Seattle, notching a brace along with an assist in a 3-1 win.

The attacking prowess of Raul Ruidiaz has been sorely missed as the Sounders leading goalscorer was on the sidelines for a fifth consecutive match on Saturday with a left hamstring problem, Brad Smith remains out with a right AC joint sprain, Nicolas Lodeiro is likely done for the year after undergoing right knee surgery, Jordy Delem has a right ACL tear and Jordan Morris is out with an ACL injury.

Nicolas Benezet scored the only goal for the Rave Green on Saturday, his fourth across all competitions since joining the team in July, while Joao Paulo continues to be invaluable in the middle of the park, winning several balls and picking up his 11th assist of the year over the weekend.

Paulo, however, will not be available for this one as he was one of five players from Seattle to get booked in their previous match, while Alex Roldan, Kelyn Rowe and Fredy Montero will have to tread very carefully to avoid a suspension in this fixture as they each received a caution versus KC in a game where there were 35 fouls committed between both sides.

Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
Blackman; Palacios, Blackmon, Fall, Kim; Edwards, Crisostomo, Blessing; Ibeagha; Arango, Jennings

Seattle Sounders possible starting lineup:
Frei; Tolo, Arreaga, Cissoko; A. Roldan, Atencio, Rowe, Medranda; Montero, Benezet; Bruin


SM words green background

We say: Los Angeles FC 1-2 Seattle Sounders

LA may head into this encounter with a psychological advantage given how they have fared at home versus the Sounders since joining the league, but they are lucky to still be in the playoff race as they have been poor at the back when being put under pressure.

The Sounders are one of the top teams in the league because they are resilient and always seem to find a way to bounce back from a defeat, and even without their most dangerous weapon in the fold, there should be enough quality for them to find a way through the Black-and-Gold.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Los Angeles vs Seattle

Los Angeles FC
13.2%
Draw
17.0%
Seattle Sounders
69.8%
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Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer on June 27, 2021
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Saturday's MLS predictions including Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England34227565412473
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia341412848351354
3Nashville SCNashville341218455332254
4New York City FCNY City341491156362051
5Atlanta UnitedAtlanta34131294537851
6Orlando City34131295048251
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls34139123933648
8DC United34145155654247
9Columbus Crew34138134645147
10CF MontrealMontreal341210124644246
11Inter MiamiInter Miami34125173653-1741
12Chicago Fire3497183654-1834
13Toronto34610183966-2728
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3448223774-3720

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England34227565412473
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia341412848351354
3Nashville SCNashville341218455332254
4New York City FCNY City341491156362051
5Atlanta UnitedAtlanta34131294537851
6Orlando City34131295048251
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls34139123933648
8DC United34145155654247
9Columbus Crew34138134645147
10CF MontrealMontreal341210124644246
11Inter MiamiInter Miami34125173653-1741
12Chicago Fire3497183654-1834
13Toronto34610183966-2728
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3448223774-3720

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