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Toe to toe: LAFC 1, Seattle Sounders 1

Teams trade goals in early-season matinee.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Los Angeles FC Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

LAFC missed their two biggest stars and took a very early lead, but eventually settled for a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday.

It was a result in which both teams had good moments of play and the quality on display was quite good, even with both teams missing their best players. As far as Week 2 results go, it was a solid result between two good teams.

There were a few changes to the lineup for LAFC, with Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi both held out of the squad altogether. Kwadwo Opoku started in the forward line, alongside Corey Baird and Jose Cifuentes, who was brought up to the forward line and played pretty well as a false No. 9. Otherwise, Marco Farfan made his LAFC debut as the starting right back in place of Tristan Blackmon, who was out.

LAFC got to work quickly, with a free kick on the edge of Seattle’s box taken by Eduard Atuesta, his wormburner under the wall beating Stefan Frei, to make it 1-0 in the 2nd minute.

It was the earliest goal ever scored in LAFC history, at 85 seconds.

About 10 minutes later, LAFC almost added a second goal off a scramble in the 6-yard box from a corner kick, but the ball trickled just wide of the near post.

The Sounders cracked a shot off the post in the 25th minute, through Cristian Roldan, as they raised their intensity to try and get into the game.

The Sounders controlled play into halftime but couldn’t find a breakthrough, with Eddie Segura and Jesús David Murillo playing very well in central defense for LAFC.

Mark-Anthony Kaye almost got an insurance goal in the 50th minute for LAFC, his one-timer off a feed from Diego Palacios skipping just wide of the far post with a bit of curl.

The Sounders got the equalizer in the 54th minute, with Alex Roldan sending in a good cross to Will Bruin. Bruin’s header was saved by Pablo Sisniega, but Brad Smith followed it up with a header off a scramble in the box and it trickled over the line through traffic.

LAFC made their first substitute in the 64th minute, with Bryce Duke entering the game for Baird, who had been questionable coming into the game and took a knock in the 1st half on top of it. Duke played in the forward line after he entered the fray.

There was another line change in the 80th minute, with Francisco Ginella, Cal Jennings and Raheem Edwards entering for LAFC in place of Farfan, Cifuentes and Opoku.

A 50-50 challenge along the sideline in the 84th minute between Murillo and Sounders sub Ethan Dobbelaere really left Murillo much worse for the wear, the defender’s leg swinging around wildly on the contact. Dobbelaere saw a yellow card but no VAR review to upgrade it to a red card.

Both teams had moments of possession down the stretch but there was no winner, the closest in the late minutes was a header by Raul Ruidiaz for Seattle that looped over the goal.

I imagine many LAFC fans will find reasons to gripe about the performance, but considering the context I think this was a perfectly fine display. Could LAFC have defended the play better where the Sounders scored? Yes, definitely. On the balance of play, is a draw a fair result? Yes, it is. Given the timing in the season, it’s a good data point and we’ll see how LAFC trend moving forward.

LAFC take to the road for their first away game of the season next Saturday, when they will face the Houston Dynamo for another day game. Can they stay unbeaten against a Dynamo foe they have usually had the better of in the past? We’ll see what happens.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.