Los Angeles FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC Pick & Prediction MAR 18th 2023

Stadium: CenturyLink Field Seattle
Logo Los Angeles FC
Logo Seattle Sounders FC

2.5o -131



The Seattle Sounders aim to continue their success at home against defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles FC on Saturday afternoon when the Western Conference rivals meet.

The Sounders (2-1-0, 6 points) have pieced together a six-game home points streak (4-0-2) against LAFC since the latter posted a 1-0 victory in its inaugural MLS match in March of 2018.

Lumen Field has provided a safe haven thus far this season for Seattle, which posted 4-0 victory over the visiting Colorado Rapids on Feb. 26 and a 2-0 triumph over Real Salt Lake on March 4. The Sounders weren't as fortunate last Saturday, dropping a 1-0 decision on the road to FC Cincinnati.

"It's three games into the year. ... Let's just see how the season, the early part of the season, rolls out," Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said.

"I don't think these guys in the locker room are going to throw in the towel. They are discouraged, yes. They put a lot of effort in the game, yes."

Homegrown forward Jordan Morris has an MLS-best three goals in league games to start the season. He scored in the Sounders' first two home games of the season.

While Morris is off to a solid start, LAFC (2-0-0, 6 points) have seen Denis Bouanga collect five goals and two assists in four matches across all competitions. He had two goals and one assist in LAFC's 4-0 rout of the New England Revolution on Sunday.

"We're delighted with Denis. We knew he had the potential last year to score a lot of goals in this league and to be one of the best players in the league." LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said. "Last year it didn't click prolifically but he was still a very important piece of our championship team. And this year, he is scoring and he will continue to score. He's good."

Bouanga recorded his first hat trick in a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica LD Alajuelense on March 9. He was held off the scoresheet on Wednesday, however Carlos Vela scored in the 83rd minute to help LAFC advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League despite a 2-1 loss to Alajuelense. LAFC posted a 4-2 win on aggregate.

--Field Level Media

Los Angeles FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC Recap MAR 18TH 2023

Stefan Frei made a key save in second-half stoppage time to help the host Seattle Sounders preserve a scoreless draw against Los Angeles FC on Saturday.

Frei thwarted Kwadwo Opuka's left-footed shot attempt from in close in the 92nd minute. Frei finished with three saves to secure his 94th career clean sheet and third this season.

Frei's heroics enabled the Sounders (2-1-1, 7 points) to extend their home point streak to seven games (4-0-3) against LAFC since the latter posted a 1-0 victory in its inaugural MLS match in March 2018.

John McCarthy turned aside all four shots he faced to notch his ninth clean sheet of his career and second this season for LAFC (2-0-1, 7 points). He also played a integral role in silencing Seattle, which was unable to convert any of its seven corner kicks.

Each team was whistled for four yellow cards in a test match between Western Conference rivals.

Tempers flared late in the first half after Frei denied Denis Bouanga's sharp-angle shot from deep in the box.

LAFC's Aaron Long attempted to dislodge the ball from the arms of Frei, causing several Sounders players -- including Nouhou Tolo -- to come to their goalkeeper's defense and create a brief skirmish on the field. Both Long and Tolo were issued yellow cards after order was restored.

Seattle nearly opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after Albert Rusnak's shot from outside the box caromed off the right post.

Sounders star Raul Ruidiaz, who was playing in his 100th career MLS match, nearly dented the scoresheet six minutes later with a bicycle kick from the top of the box. McCarthy made the save to deny Ruidiaz, who was making his first start of the season after working his way back from an injury.

--Field Level Media
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