Seattle Sounders vs LAFC MLS Is Back knockout preview: Can resolute Sounders hold on against Bradley's free-scoring LAFC?
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - JULY 18: Tristan Blackmon 27 of LAFC receives a pass off his chest during a game between Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles FC at ESPN Wide World of Sports on July 18, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

After defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 in their last group stage match, the Seattle Sounders will look to advance to the next round of the MLS Is Back tournament as they face what can only be described as a resolute LAFC side who are undefeated in their last 7 matches in all competitions.

LAFC have been a side to keep an eye on throughout the tournament, scoring 11 goals in three games. Seattle on the other hand, has only conceded one goal throughout the tournament, their clash against LAFC will be the ultimate test of Brian Schmetzer's sides defense.

The winner of this clash will advance to the quarterfinals and face either Orlando City or Montreal Impact and have what could be deemed as an easier route to the finals than that of the teams on the other side of the tournament tree. 

Key Battle

An obvious candidate to keep your eyes peeled for from LAFC is Diego Rossi, the Uruguayan has scored four goals throughout the tournament so far, including a hat-trick in El Trafico against local rivals LA Galaxy

Seattle will hope that defender Xavier Arreaga is available for selection as the defender was suffering from a concussion. The Ecuadorian has proved to be a key component to the Seattle defense, conceding an average of 0.85 goals per 90 minutes (via FootyStats), with such an impressive defensive record, Schmetzer will hope the defender is declared fit and able to contain the threat that Rossi possesses.

Previous Meetings

Last time the two sides met, Seattle emerged the victors in what was a thrilling 3-1 win. Despite LAFC taking the lead in the 17th minute, a brace from Raúl Ruidíaz and Nicolás Lodeiro goal saw off the Californian outfit. 
 

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


Despite this most recent loss, LAFC have won three of their five encounters with the Sounders and drawn one. Both teams' form throughout the MLS Is Back tournament would suggest that we're in for a rather thrilling game. 

Team News

For the Sounders, they'll be without Joao Paulo, Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Danny Leyva, and Alex Roldan as they all miss out through injury. A late fitness test will be due for Will Bruin, Joevin Jones, and Xavier Arreaga to see if they are available for selection.

LAFC is in a much healthier position in regards to injuries, with Adama Diomande the only confirmed absentee for Bob Bradley's side. Both Adrien Perez and Danilo Silva are also doubts with hamstring strains, but both could still feature.

Predicted Line-ups

Seattle XI: Frei; Leerdam, O'Neill, Arreaga, Tolo; Svensson, C.Roldan; Bwana, Lodeiro, Morris; Ruidiaz (4-2-3-1). 

LAFC XI: Sisniega; Blessing, Blackmon, Segura, Palacios; Ginella, Atuesta, Kaye; Rodriguez, Wright-Phillips, Rossi (4-3-3).

 

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