Seattle Sounders FC

MATCH RECAP: Sounders FC Falls 1-0 to LAFC in Western Conference Semifinals to End 2023 Campaign

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SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC was eliminated in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Sunday evening following a 1-0 loss to LAFC on the Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field. The Rave Green’s 2023 campaign ends in the Western Conference Semifinals after compiling a 17-15-11 record in all competitions this season.

Dénis Bouanga scored the match’s lone goal, taking the ball down the left flank and cutting inside to find the back of the net. Despite a myriad of chances throughout the game, Seattle could not find an equalizer to force extra time. The Rave Green now begin 2023-2024 offseason preparations.

MATCH NOTES

  • Sounders FC concludes its 2023 campaign following tonight’s loss in the Western Conference Semifinals to LAFC. Seattle finished the regular season with a record of 14-9-11 (53 points), moving on to defeat FC Dallas in Round One of the MLS Cup Playoffs before bowing out of the postseason tournament tonight. With this evening’s match, Seattle advanced to the semifinal stage of the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 12th time in club history (the most in MLS since the Rave Green entered the league in 2009).
  • Seattle concludes its 2023 campaign with a 17-15-11 record across all competitions (MLS regular season, MLS Cup Playoffs, FIFA Club World Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Leagues Cup).
  • Following tonight’s match at Lumen Field, Sounders FC’s record in the MLS Cup Playoffs moves to 24-15-7 dating back to the club’s 2009 inaugural MLS season. Seattle’s 24 postseason wins are four more than the next closest team since the Rave Green joined the league (LA Galaxy, 20 MLS Cup Playoffs victories since 2009).
  • Tonight’s match marked Seattle’s third all-time contest in the MLS Cup Playoffs against LAFC. It was the club’s first loss to the Black and Gold in postseason play. The Rave Green defeated LAFC in the 2019 Western Conference Final on their way to winning their second MLS Cup before Seattle beat LAFC in the First Round of the 2020 playoffs. Both matches were 3-1 wins for Sounders FC.
  • Coming into tonight’s contest, Seattle was unbeaten in its last seven home matches versus LAFC. The Southern California side won its first game in club history at Lumen Field on March 4, 2018, but since then, Seattle earned four wins and three draws in the Emerald City (including a 3-1 win in the first round of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs).
  • Notably, LAFC ended Seattle’s league-best active unbeaten run in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Before tonight’s 1-0 loss, Sounders FC was riding a 19-match unbeaten streak in the postseason dating back to 2014.
  • Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s all-time record in the MLS Cup Playoffs moves to 17-6-3, keeping him in third place in MLS history. He trails former Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid (26-16-8) and Bruce Arena (35-14-6) in the all-time postseason ranks.
  • Schmetzer maintained the same starting XI that was deployed in the FC Dallas series, with goalkeeper Stefan Frei anchoring a backline comprised of defenders Alex Roldan, Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Jackson Ragen and Nouhou. Josh Atencio and João Paulo started in central midfield, playing behind an attacking trio of Cristian Roldan, Albert Rusnák and Leó Chú. Jordan Morris started the contest as Seattle’s lone striker.
  • With the game’s opening strike in the 30th minute, LAFC’s Dénis Bouanga recorded his 37th goal of the year across all competitions. The LAFC attacker has scored 10 goals in his last six MLS matches (regular season and MLS Cup Playoffs).

MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 0 – Los Angeles FC 1

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Venue: Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field

Referee: Ted Unkel

Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Cory Richardson

Fourth Official: Filip Dujic

VAR: Chris Penso

Attendance: 33,649

Weather: 41 degrees and clear

SCORING SUMMARY

LAFC – Denis Bouanga (Timothy Tillman) 30’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SEA – Nouhou (caution) 20’

SEA – Josh Atencio (caution) 40’

SEA – João Paulo (caution) 66’

LAFC – Maxime Crepeau (caution) 85’

LAFC – Diego Palacios (caution) 86’

LAFC – Giorgio Chiellini

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Jackson Ragen, Nouhou (Reed Baker-Whiting 90’+1’); João Paulo, Josh Atencio (Raúl Ruidíaz 71’), Cristian Roldan, Albert Rusnák, Léo Chú (Nico Lodeiro 57’); Jordan Morris

Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Héber, Fredy Montero, Xavier Arreaga, Cody Baker, Obed Vargas

Total shots: 16

Shots on goal: 8

Fouls: 16

Offside: 0

Corner-Kicks: 10

Saves: 1

Los Angeles FC – Maxime Crepeau; Jesus Murillo, Diego Palacios, Giorgio Chiellini, Ryan Hollingshead; Ilie Sanchez, Timothy Tillman (Sergi Palencia 90’+1’), Kellyn Acosta; Carlos Vela (Mateusz Bogusz 78’), Cristian Olivera (Aaron Long 90’+1’), Denis Bouanga

Substitutes not used: John McCarthy, Denil Maldonado, Stipe Biuk, Mario Gonzalez, Nathan Ordaz, Filip Krastev

Total shots: 7

Shots on goal: 2

Fouls: 16

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 2

Saves: 7

- SOUNDERS FC -

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