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Pick: Los Angeles FC to win (+200)
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Seattle Sounders FC got off to a perfect start this season when they won their first two games comfortably and kept clean sheets in both. However, they stuttered last week when they fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat in Cincinnati.
Los Angeles FC have also won both of their opening games this season. The first was a narrow 3-2 against Portland Timbers, but the next one exuded confidence as the defending MLS champions blanked New England Revolution 4-0.
The two teams are level on points and are ranked second and third in the Western Conference. However, Seattle Sounders FC have played a game more. This will be a tight encounter, but Los Angeles FC will have a slight edge over Seattle Sounders FC.
The two sides have locked horns on 15 occasions in MLS. Los Angeles FC have the better head-to-head record, as they have won seven times, while Seattle Sounders FC have been victorious on five occasions.
In the last MLS encounter between these two clubs, Los Angeles FC beat Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 at the Banc of California Stadium. The previous encounter at Lumen Field between the two ended in a 1-1 draw.
Los Angeles FC’s record at Lumen Field has been relatively poor. The defending champions have only won once in seven visits to the venue. Seattle Sounders FC have won four of those games and only two have ended in draws. Los Angeles FC’s last win at Lumen Field came in 2018 when Diego Rossi scored the only goal of the match.
Despite tripping over a hurdle last week in Cincinnati, Seattle Sounders FC will be looking to bounce back with a positive result and keep momentum this season. Last year, the club finished 11th in the Western Conference, which was quite disappointing considering their standards.
Seattle Sounders FC have always found their way into the playoffs and are used to finishing in the top two in the Western Division. Despite enduring a tough season last year, Seattle Sounders FC will be in the race for the title this season.
In what was probably their worst season in recent years, Seattle Sounders FC did not finish trophyless as they went all the way to win the CONCACAF Champions League last season for the first time in their history.
In the three games played this season, Seattle Sounders FC have scored six goals. However, all six came in the first two games as they fired their first blank of the season last week against FC Cincinnati.
Last season, the club relied on Raul Ruidiaz, Nicolas Lodeiro, and Jordan Morris for goals. This season, Ruidiaz and Lodeiro are yet to get off the mark, as Morris has scored half of Seattle Sounders FC’s goals this season.
New signing Heber has scored two. In the last game, Heber was not part of the matchday squad, and Ruidiaz was left on the bench. FC Cincinnati ensured that Morris got the fewest touches on the ball as they managed to keep Seattle Sounders FC quiet and walked away with a 1-0 win.
In the absence of Ruidiaz and Heber last week, Fredy Montero played up front for Seattle Sounders FC. This is the striker’s third season with the club, and he has scored just 16 goals in 70 appearances for them.
The 35-year-old’s performance last week was extremely disappointing as he was taken off two minutes before the hour mark. During the 58 minutes he spent on the pitch, Montero attempted just two shots, and both were wayward.
After thumping New England Revolution 4-0 last week, Los Angeles FC extended their winning streak across all competitions to six games. The defending champions have lost just one out of their last ten games in all competitions.
After winning their season-opener against Portland Timbers, Los Angeles FC nabbed a crucial 3-0 away win in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 encounters against LD Alajuelense last Thursday.
On the weekend, the defending MLS champions registered another shutout with a resounding win over New England Revolution as Los Angeles FC have now scored ten goals in their last three games while conceding just two in the process.
Los Angeles FC scored 75 goals last season and these goals were scored by 16 different goalscorers. While some of them are not with the team this season, Los Angeles FC continue to get new names on the scoresheet.
Despite losing last season’s top-scorer Cristian Arango and attacker Gareth Bale, Los Angeles FC have scored seven goals in their last two MLS matches. In addition to that, they are not relying on one or two players for goals.
So far, only Denis Bouanga has scored more than one goal for the club. Apart from that, there are five different goalscorers who have scored one each and are eager to add more to their tally. Carlos Vela is one of these players and his solitary goal has come from the spot this season.
The match against Seattle Sounders FC will be a very tricky encounter for Los Angeles FC. Neither side is missing any key players for this fixture. However, Seattle Sounders FC will come into the match with a home advantage.
Lumen Field has not been a happy hunting ground for Los Angeles FC with their last win at that venue coming five years ago. The defending champions were solid at home last season as they only lost twice in 17 games last season.
However, on the road, Los Angeles FC have faced trouble. They won eight and lost seven of their 17 away encounters last season. Their goal difference away from home was just +4 and that is what the defending champions will want to improve this season starting with the next game.
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● Teams: Seattle Sounders FC vs Los Angeles FC
● Location: Lumen Field
● Time: Saturday, March 18 at 4 pm ET
● How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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