Where: Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, California.
When: Sunday, April 21, 4:00 pm PT
How to Watch: FS1, Fox Sports Go, and Fox Deportes in the U.S., DAZN in Canada
Los Angeles Football Club are coming off their first loss of the season, a tough game on the road to the (at the time, winless) Vancouver Whitecaps. As they look to rebound and get their positive form back, LAFC return home to take on the undefeated Seattle Sounders in a clash atop the Western Conference. This is also the first of two games in a week that the two teams will play against one another.
LAFC, after starting the season with seven games unbeaten, ran into their first road-block of the 2019 campaign on Wednesday, with a shutout loss to Vancouver on the road. This not only snapped their unbeaten streak, but also their streak of scoring in matches (last time LAFC did not score in a game was last August against Sporting KC) and of not conceding a goal (LAFC had not given up a goal for 352 minutes of play). Seattle did not play midweek, and instead played host to Toronto FC on Saturday, winning 3-2. Seattle currently sits in third in the Western Conference table through six matches, with five wins and one draw (a scoreless draw in Vancouver), good for 16 points. The LA Galaxy, who played on Friday, leapfrogged the Sounders for second place, right behind LAFC, who sit on top with 19 points.
LAFC, as always, will welcome anyone into Banc of California Stadium, where they have 16 wins, seven draws, and two losses in all competitions since the start of last season. Seattle’s road record is also something to note, as they have nine wins, seven losses, and four draws away from home. In terms of previous matchups between the two teams, Seattle is one of those teams forever woven into LAFC’s history books. Seattle was LAFC’s first MLS opponent, and first MLS win (the 2018 season opener was a 1-0 LAFC win in Seattle), and was also the Black-and-Gold’s first opponent in Banc of California Stadium, also an LAFC 1-0 win (that was the final kick Laurent Ciman goal, if you need reminding). So there is plenty of history between the two teams, and add that to the intrigue of Seattle being undefeated, LAFC just getting their first loss, and both teams being major MLS Cup contenders, the stakes of this game are high.
Seattle has an admittedly stacked team, which feeds into the whole “MLS Cup Contender who has not lost a game“ thing. Stefan Frei? Consistently good goalkeeper. Chad Marshall? One of the best defenders in MLS. Cristian Roldan? One of the most important players for his team in the league. Niko Lodeiro? MVP candidate. This team is dangerous, and LAFC will have their hands full on Sunday.
Prediction: LAFC 2-2 Seattle. Now, last time I said “these two teams are too good to lose,“ LAFC beat DC United 4-0 on the road. But I think Seattle will give LAFC a game, and it should live up to the hype. Seattle is not the kind of team to get blown out, and LAFC is the same. I think this will turn out to be one of the games of the season.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!