With a spot in the Western Conference final on the line, this is a match that feels fit to be MLS Cup as the Seattle Sounders host Los Angeles FC on Sunday night. The Black and Gold are looking to defend their MLS Cup title from last season but they'll have a tough task getting past one of the most successful teams in league history. The Sounders won MLS Cup in 2016 and 2019 alongside also winning Concacaf Champions League in 2022, becoming the only MLS team to accomplish the continental feat.
Both sides started off the season slowly but have rounded into form lately creating fearsome attacks with opposing strengths. Seattle will lull a team to sleep with a possession-based attack before striking via Jordan Morris while Denis Bouanga and LAFC attack early and often with pace raining down pressure on their opposition. But with long layoffs due to the format of the first round and the international break, will it impact the start of the match?
Here's our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
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How to watch and odds
- Date: Sunday, Nov. 26 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Lumen Field -- Seattle, Washington
- TV: Seattle Sounders +145; Draw +260; LAFC +185
Seattle Sounders: Brian Schmetzer has been one of the best coaches in the league at making adjustments on the fly and this season it has paid dividends. With striker Raul Ruidiaz struggling, Schmetzer has benched him pushing Morris to the nine and giving Leo Chu more playing time to create a balanced attack. While the Sounders may not be as dynamic as LAFC, they are able to dictate a match with the best teams in the league which will lead to a fascinating clash.
LAFC: Bouanga already has three goals in playoffs and he'll be aiming for more to lead LAFC back to MLS Cup. It will be unfamiliar territory playing their knockout match on the road due to their early season struggles. With 30 goals and nine assists in all competitions, no player in MLS has been more of a handful than Bouanga this season but even if he can't find the net, players like Ryan Hollingshead and Carlos Vela can still make a team pay.
In yet another low-scoring playoff game, home-field advantage will be enough for the Sounders to advance to the Western Conference final to face either the Houston Dynamo or Sporting Kanas City. Pick: Seattle Sounders 1, LAFC 0