Match Preview

Preview | LAFC vs Seattle Sounders 2/24/24


LAFC vs Seattle Sounders 

Saturday, February 24 at 1:30 pm PT

Location: BMO Stadium, Los Angeles California

Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera

LAFC kicks off its 2024 MLS regular season on Saturday, February 24, at BMO Stadium, in a rivalry match against Seattle Sounders FC that is also a rematch of the 2023 Western Conference semifinal. 

When the clubs met in frigid Seattle in November, Dénis Bouanga’s 30th-minute goal proved to be enough for LAFC to book its second straight trip to the Western Conference final, and its third in five years. The 1-0 win also gave the Black & Gold its first victory in Seattle since LAFC’s first-ever match, in March 2018. It ended the Sounders’ 19-game unbeaten streak in playoff home games, as well.

The Black & Gold have a record of 9W-5L-4D all-time against the Sounders. LAFC is currently riding a six-game unbeaten streak in the series.

LAFC said goodbye to several key players during the offseason, but the Club recently brought back one of the most important and productive players in Club history by acquiring midfielder Eduard Atuesta on loan from Brazilian first-division club, Palmerias. Atuesta helped LAFC win the 2019 Supporters’ Shield and a berth in the 2020 Concacaf Champions Cup final. He earned MLS Best XI honors in 2019 and was an MLS All Star in 2021.

LAFC also welcomes former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper (and 2018 World Cup champion) Hugo Lloris, along with rising Mexican National Team fullback Omar Campos, acquired from Liga MX club Santos Laguna. Both are expected to make their LAFC debuts on Saturday.

Sounders in-depth

Led by head coach Brian Schmetzer, the Sounders are hoping to begin their 2024 campaign by ending a bumpy string of matches against LAFC. 

The Sounders have not beaten the Black & Gold since May 2021. In their three meetings in 2023, Seattle did not score a goal. Seattle’s last goal against LAFC came in July 2022. LAFC has suffered at Seattle’s hands as well over the years, getting knocked out of the playoffs by the “Rave Green” in 2019 and 2020. From this legacy of high-stakes competition, one of Major League Soccer’s most contentious rivalries has grown.

Seattle parted ways during the offseason with longtime captain Nicolás Lodeiro, while making significant additions to its roster in preparation for 2024. The Sounders’ signings include 23-year-old Argentine youth international Pedro de la Vega, and former LAFC striker Danny Musovski, who starred for Real Salt Lake in 2023 and has tallied 16 goals and 9 assists in just 80 career MLS matches.

The Black & Gold Will Win If:

It can adjust to its recent roster turnover and establish a rhythm amongst teammates still getting to know one another. LAFC currently has under contract just four players who started its MLS Cup final victory in November 2022. The current roster contributed half (49.9%) of the total minutes LAFC played in 2023. Among the returnees, however, is Bouanga, the reigning MLS Golden Boot winner who scored an MLS record 38 goals across all competitions in 2023.

The Sounders Can Win If:

They create an early, confidence-building goal against an LAFC side that has stifled their attack over the last two years. (In their last six meetings with LAFC, the Sounders have scored two goals combined, and have been shut out four times.) Visiting BMO Stadium for LAFC’s home opener only adds to the degree of difficulty.  LAFC is 6-0-0 all-time in home openers, and has the same record in season openers. Seattle can end those streaks if it starts strong and finishes stronger.

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