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Sounders at LAFC, recap: Stefan Frei can’t stop final shot

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Laurent Ciman’s strike ends game 1-0.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Brian Schmetzer’s plan changed even before the first whistle as Kim Kee-hee was inserted for Roman Torres, who couldn’t pass a prematch fitness test. His plan would be further tested when Kim needed to be subbed due to injury or fitness and the Seattle Sounders played their sixth player at centerback just 10 competitive matches into 2018.

Los Angeles Football Club weathered a strong attack from Seattle in the first half, settled into being the better side in the second half and took advantage of a dangerous free kick to win the game 1-0. Laurent Ciman, a centerback, slammed a ball straight at Stefan Frei. A bit of knuckling action meant that the steady (and strong on the night) Frei did not catch the ball. It popped out of his hands into the goal. That 93’ goal was enough for Los Angeles to open their stadium to glory (on the field).

Key Moments

Early in the match Kevin Stott decided he would allow it to be physical. This was only a foul. Multiple other serious incidents went uncalled.

Players were taught by Stott that things would be loose. It became a game of bruises. Marco Ureña carried a bruise on a his head following a collusion with Stefan Frei’s forearm. Stott let things continue like that until the 90+2’ ...

Outside of Stott’s calls and the flub by Stefan Frei, it should be mentioned that Seattle failed to convert on a couple good opportunities. They had several chances from decent locations, especially in a first half in which they dominated the tempo and opportunities.

In that half they had five quality shots and three more speculative ones. LAFC mustered only two decent opportunities and four wild shots from distance.

Talking Points

Good

  • Entering the match, LAFC was one of the most potent attacks in MLS. Despite playing on the road, they were always a threat to score. Going against Seattle’s third and fourth centerbacks, they looked mediocre. Even a slower-than-typical Osvaldo Alonso was still fast enough to cause LA trouble.
  • Alex Roldan was in great spaces. As he gains confidence his passes are more likely to be decisive, or he’ll shoot. He seemed to pass the burden to Dempsey and Lodeiro a bit much.

Bad

  • Don’t chant homophobic stuff — ever. It doesn’t matter what team you support.
  • Sounders must learn to finish (or, at the very least, take) those key opportunities. A few times Clint Dempsey was late to pull the trigger on his shot. Instead, he turned the ball over.

Lineup

Stefan Frei; Nouhou, Gustav Svensson, Kim Kee-hee, Kelvin Leerdam; Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso; Alex Roldan, Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro; Will Bruin.

69’ Jordy Delem on for Kim
79’ Magnus Wolff Eikrem on for Alonso (switched to a 4-4-1-1)
87’ Lamar Neagle on for A. Roldan

Goals

90+3’ Ciman (unassisted)

Poll

Who was the Man of the Match?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    K.Leerdam
    (53 votes)
  • 10%
    A.Roldan
    (65 votes)
  • 22%
    C.Roldan
    (144 votes)
  • 58%
    G.Svensson
    (376 votes)
638 votes total Vote Now