Los Angeles FC – Seattle Sounders: Seattle’s Low Block Out-Wits And Outlasts Los Angeles Offense (1-3)
Seattle Sounders arrived in Los Angeles having won three of the last four Western Conference Finals, but despite this success, they were considered heavy underdogs to an offensively vibrant Los Angeles FC side. Nonetheless, Seattle proved the doubters wrong, as they used all their cunning and pragmatism to dispatch a static and somewhat naïve home side, to book their place in the final.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
Los AngelesFC ran roughshod through the regular season, setting an MLS record for points and tying the record for goals scored in the process. Manager Bob Bradley crafted a dynamic offense centered around Mexican international Carlos Vela, who himself broke the record for goals scored in a single season. Los Angeles’ success had many going as far as to say they were the greatest MLS team of all-time.
In their previous match, LAFC exercised the demon that was the Los Angeles Galaxy – defeating their cross-town rivals for the first time in their history and in the process earning a spot in the Western Conference Final. Bradley’s approach ran counter to what his side had been doing all season – he instructed his team to sit back, absorb pressure, and look to hit the Galaxy on the break. The game plan proved fruitful, as LAFC notched five goals against a confused Galaxy defense.
Injuries had forced Bradley into changes against the Galaxy and similar adjustments were necessary on Tuesday night against Seattle. Fortunately for the home side, Walker Zimmerman was deemed fit and returned to central defence, alongside Eddie Segura, while Jordan Harvey reprised his role at left back, and Tristan Blackmon took over duties at right back . . .