One Down. Two To Go.
That's taking nothing away from the 5-3 victory over the Galaxy. It was emotional and cathartic. But in the grand scheme of the playoffs, it was a match that needed to be won to advance. It wasn't the ultimate goal.
The task in front of LAFC on Tuesday is much the same. Win and advance. Win and move one step closer to lifting MLS Cup.
Let's take a look at LAFC's Western Conference Semifinal against the Seattle Sounders:
Western Conference Final | LAFC vs Seattle Sounders, Oct. 29 at 6:30 pm PT
Where To Watch
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
After a wild, extra-time victory over FC Dallas 4-3 in the first round of the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, Seattle put the clampdown on Real Salt Lake in the second round. In front of a home crowd at CenturyLink Field, the Sounders shutout RSL 2-0, holding the visitors to just one shot on target. Gustav Svensson opening the scoring from a corner kick in the 64th minute and Nico Lodeiro put the match out of reach as RSL pushed numbers forward.
What The Players Are Saying
Latif Blessing on the team's preparation for Seattle: "Everybody feels good. We are ready to go. If you want to be champions, you have to work hard. And that is what everybody is doing. You can see on the faces of the players that everybody is happy. Everybody is ready to go. We needed that win but we're not finished yet. Two games to go. Two games to be champions."
Tyler Miller on raising his game against his old team: "There's definitely a little side of me that likes to go out there and show [Seattle] what they let go. I never try to be anybody that I'm not, anytime that I play I know what my game is and what my strengths are. So, I don't try to go out there and do something that's not me. I know that I'm capable of playing in this league, I know what I'm all about, and I just try to go out there and prove it every day."
Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Tristan Blackmon, Steven Beitashour; Eduard Atuesta, Lee Nguyen, Latif Blessing; Brian Rodríguez, Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi.
What To Watch For
No Stopping Vela: Carlos Vela scored twice against the Galaxy in LAFC's 5-3 win last round. The LAFC captain is the only player to score in every derby match since the two first faced each other in March of 2018. If you include the final stretch of the regular season, Vela has scored in 10 straight matches. He has 14 goals in those 10 matches.
Success Over The Sounders: Since defeating Seattle in its inaugural MLS match, LAFC has never lost to the Sounders. Last season, LAFC was a perfect two wins out of two with a pair of 1-0 victories. This year, LAFC played Seattle in back-to-back matches at the end of April. LAFC won the first match at home 4-1 but only managed a draw in Seattle in a 1-1 match that featured a Cristian Roldan red card in the 18th minute.
Ruidíaz Meets LAFC: Raul Ruidíaz led Seattle with 11 goals this season. The Peruvian has yet to face LAFC in his one and half seasons in MLS. Ruidíaz joined the Sounders two months after Seattle had played both its matches with LAFC that season. In 2019, Ruidíaz missed both LAFC-Seattle matches while sidelined with an injury. The forward has one goal and three assists in Seattle's two playoff matches in 2019.