Los Angeles Football Club (5-2-0, 15 points) captain Laurent Ciman’s right-footed free kick in the third minute of stoppage time had enough sting to bounce off Seattle (1-4-1, 4 points) goalkeeper Stefan Frei’s hands and into the back of the net to give LAFC a 1-0 victory over the visiting the Seattle Sounders.
The Sounders went into the game with the intent of crashing the LAFC housewarming party. LAFC played its first six games of the season and Sundays game was not only it’s the first home game of the season it marked the unveiling of the newly-constructed Banc of California Stadium.
A 22,000 state of the art soccer facility. LAFC is the only team in MLS to win four road games in 2018, and is the first expansion team in MLS history to play its first six games away from home. For LAFC head coach the goal came just in time to celebrate the historic moment.
“When you get the goal, then you need the goal, so yes. My favorite part was just walking out there at the beginning, it was awesome. I talk often about if you want to be a team that can play football, you have to have a great field. “Bradley said after the game. “The field was incredible, it was wet, the ball moved, but at the end, we also weren’t shaken. We could talk about little things at halftime in terms of movements, how they’re pressing us and how they’re closing off things in the midfield.”
The Seattle Sounders started the game with a backline that was missing the centerbacks Chad Marshall and Roman Torres due to injuries. Marshall had a neck sprain from last weeks game against Minnesota United. Torres tweaked a hamstring during pregame warmups. Kim Kee-Hee and Gustav Svensson jumped in at the center back positions joining Fullbacks Kelvin Leerdam and Nohou to complete the makeshift backline that had a decent game against the high scoring LAFC attack.
The Sounders looked like they would fulfill their intention of being rude guest’s in the first half when they had three shots on goal to the home side zero attempts on goal. Despite the shooting advantage, the Sounders went into the halftime break tied at 0-0.
Both sides picked up the pace in the second half and the result was a wide-open game that saw both sides with several opportunities to break the deadlock. LAFC forward Marco Urena had three chances to break the deadlock but all three chances went begging as Frei made saves on the attempts at the 48th minute, 53rd minute and 83rd minute.
Seattle’s Clint Dempsey and Will Bruin each had good looks at the LAFC net, Bruin in the 55th minute and Dempsey in the 90th minute but both chances were saved by former Sounders keeper Tyler Miller.
- With the loss, Sounders FC sees its two-match unbeaten streak (1-0-1) ended and falls to 1-4-1 on the season.
- Sounders FC is now 0-2-0 against Los Angeles FC in MLS play, following a 1-0 LAFC win in the season-opener on March 4.
- Clint Dempsey registered a season-high five shots and two shots on goal in Sunday’s contest, his first start since being issued a two-match suspension for a red card at FC Dallas on March 18.
- Kim Kee-hee made his first MLS start on Sunday after Román Torres was a late scratch due to a right hamstring strain. The South Korean defender previously played 16 minutes at FC Dallas on March 18 in his MLS debut and logged 55 minutes at Chivas Guadalajara in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play on March 14.
- Gustav Svensson made his first start of the season in central defense after starting the first five matches of 2018 at central midfield. The Swedish international filled in for the injured Chad Marshall, who suffered a neck sprain in last Sunday’s win over Minnesota United FC. Svensson is one of three Sounders FC players who has played every regular-season minute thus far in 2018 (Stefan Frei, Cristian Roldan).
- Rookie Alex Roldan made his third-consecutive start for Sounders FC alongside his brother Cristian. It marked a homecoming of sorts for the Roldan brothers, who hail from Pico Rivera, California.
Substitutes not used: Charlie Lyon, Dejan Jakovic, Tristan Blackmon, Shaft Brewer