From the moment LAFC entered the league, they’ve been linked to the Seattle Sounders. Their first-ever game was at Lumen Field — an impressive 1-0 win — and they opened their new stadium against the Sounders as well, another 1-0 win.
In Year 2, LAFC stormed through the league and looked ready to start a long period of dominance after setting all sorts of records. It was the Sounders who kept that from happening, beating them in the Western Conference final. The Sounders dispatched LAFC from the playoffs again a year later. LAFC missed the playoffs in 2021.
LAFC finally got their breakthrough in 2022, winning the Supporters’ Shield-MLS Cup double that the Sounders had previously denied them.
Whenever the Sounders and LAFC meet, it seems to be a referrendum on the two teams’ relative place in the MLS hierarchy. Right now, it would be hard to deny that LAFC are in the ascendency.
But the Sounders are off to a strong start, have been reasonably dominant at home in this matchup (4-0-1 in their last five meetings at Lumen Field) and should be considerably more rested on Saturday (this is LAFC’s four match in 10 days). In other words, this is a game the Sounders can rightfully feel favored.
Everything you need to know
- Today’s game kicks off at 1:25 PM and will be free over-the-air on Fox13 as well as on AppleTV, whose A-team of Jake Zivin and Taylor Twellman are in town for the call. Fox13 will also be doing their own pregame show with Aaron Levine and Marcus Hahnemann starting at 12:30 PM.
- Today’s the day the Sounders will debut the Bruce Lee Kit.
- We got some insight into LAFC from Alicia Rodriguez of Angels on Parade.
- If you want a bit more of a tactical preview, be sure to read our weekly installment of Sounder Strategy.
- Despite training with some restrictions, all signs point to Raúl Ruidíaz making his first start of the MLS campaign. He came off the bench in each of the past two and has been dealing with a hamstring injury.
- We’ve been pretty high on Jackson Ragen during the start of the season and Sounder at Heart colleague Realio made the big centerback his Man of the Match this week.
- One of the downstream effects of taking five weeks off for Leagues Cup is that MLS teams are going to be playing through a lot more international windows than ever before. The Sounders will get their first taste of what that’s like next week when they play Sporting KC without as many as five players. Alex Roldan (El Salvador), Nouhou (Cameroon), Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador), Reed Baker-Whiting (USA U19s) and Obed Vargas (USA U20s) were all named to their respective rosters.
- Vargas’ call-up is especially interesting since he’ll be the youngest player on Mikey Varas’ squad, at 17 will still be eligible for the 2025 U20 World Cup and hasn’t played a competitive match since last June. But Varas and U.S. Soccer are apparently keen on making sure Vargas knows they see a future for him at the senior level. (via American Soccer Now)