61st minute: GOOOOOOOOOOOOL LAFC! Christian Ramirez completes a give-and-go with Kaye to notch his first goal of the game. LAFC are fully in control for the moment.
55th minute: GOOOOOOOOOOOOL LAFC! Atuesta sets up Vela and he rounds Frei to score his second of the day and get 10 for the season. LAFC up 3-1.
51st minute: Seattle goal. The Sounders with a nice buildup and Harry Shipp finishes it after Jordan Harvey slips. LAFC’s lead now cut in half.
39th minute: GOOOOOOOOOL LAFC! Again, Kaye sets up a goal and this time it’s Eduard Atuesta, who goes up the gut, easily evades Roman Torres, and smashes it in similar fashion to Vela on the first goal. So far, so good!
12th minute: GOOOOOOOOOOL LAFC! A good buildup by LAFC leads to a great pass from Mark-Anthony Kaye to Carlos Vela, who hits a sweet shot to beat Stefan Frei. Good start for the home side.
LAFC go with the same starting XI as Saturday’s game against Cincinnati. Lee Nguyen is on the bench, and Latif Blessing truly seems to be fine after Wednesday’s injury, as he’s back in the lineup.
The Sounders make a few major changes. Both Raul Ruidiaz and Will Bruin are out, so Jordan Morris moves back up top. In addition, Roman Torres enters at center back for Chad Marshall. Still a strong lineup for Seattle, but this isn’t their top, top group:
On Easter Sunday, two of MLS’s best squads will meet at The Banc seeking Western Conference superiority.
This week has been less than ideal for Los Angeles Football Club. A midweek trip up north saw the squad fall 1-0 at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps. LAFC talisman Carlos Vela was unable to make his mark as Vancouver did a quality job at limiting his impact on the match.
To be fair, LAFC trotted out with an experimental XI, starting Niko Hamalainen and Shaft Brewer, Jr. at the full-back spots, respectively. Bob Bradley also gave Peter-Lee Vassell a starting midfield spot over Mark-Anthony Kaye.
Similarly, Walker Zimmerman did not make the trip to Vancouver due to rest, according to Bradley. Expect the starting XI on Sunday to be back at full strength.
Similarly to LAFC, the Sounders have had a very solid start to the 2019 campaign. On paper, Seattle has one of the deepest rosters in the MLS. The attacking tandem of Raúl Ruidíaz and Jordan Morris has already proven to be a lethal partnership.
Underneath these two, the midfield trio of Nico Lodeiro, Victor Rodríguez, and Cristian Roldan is known for dominating the middle third, while also providing in attack, allowing the Sounders to operate as a well-rounded unit.
On the injury front, Sunday’s match will likely mark the return of Lee Nguyen to the 18. Forward Adama Diomande remains out with hamstring injury. Midfielder Andre Horta will also remain out as he recovers from a right quad strain. The LAFC debut of Fito Zelaya remains a possibility on Sunday as his status has been upgraded to “questionable.”
For the Sounders, Forward Will Bruin has been ruled out as he deals with a hamstring injury. Forward Raúl Ruidíaz will make the trip to LA, however, he has been listed as “questionable” due to a heel injury.
Vegas bookmakers currently favor LAFC at (-140), while listing the Sounders as (+350) underdogs. The odds for a draw are currently listed at (+300) (via Westgate Las Vegas).
How to Watch/Listen:
Sunday’s Western Conference clash between Los Angeles Football Club and the Seattle Sounders will be televised nationally by FS1 starting at 4:00 pm PT with kickoff to follow.
The game will also be carried by local radio affiliates ESPN 710 and KFWB 980.