Match Recap

RECAP: Comeback falls short as Sounders suffer 2-1 defeat at LAFC

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In a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Semifinal, Los Angeles FC defeated the Seattle Sounders 2-1 on Saturday in the first match of the 2024 campaign at BMO Stadium in L.A. Midfielder Timothy Tillman scored the match’s opening goal on the brink of halftime before forward Mateusz Bogusz doubled the lead in the 55th minute.

Sounders newcomer Pedro de la Vega scored Seattle’s first of the season on a penalty in the 73rd minute.

The match got off to a blistering start in the first half, with a combined 24 shots and 11 on target.

Jordan Morris, who started up front alongside Raúl Ruidíaz in a 4-4-2 formation, had the Sounders’ best chance of the half in the third minute. Cristian Roldan slipped a pass through to Morris, whose shot was saved by Hugo Lloris.

LAFC hit the crossbar twice in the opening half, with Dénis Bounaga’s shot deflecting off the bar in the 23rd minute before Ilie’s header on a corner nicked it seven minutes later.

LAFC found the breakthrough in the first minute of first-half stoppage time when Tillman volleyed home a cross from Omar Campos.

Bouanga rang the crossbar again from distance a minute into the second half before it rattled away to safety.

Morris had an opportunity in behind in the 68th minute, but he was caught by Aaron Long from behind in the box. The play went to Video Review and the referee awarded a penalty to the Sounders.

De La Vega stepped up less than 10 minutes into his debut and buried the penalty in the 73rd minute to halve the deficit.

The Sounders had a few half-chances in the final quarter-hour but were unable to find the equalizer.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

De la Vega off the mark

New Young Designated Player signing de la Vega came off the bench in the 64th minute for Léo Chú to mark his first club appearance. Seattle signed the 23-year-old Argentine youth international from Lanús this past offseason. In addition to his composed finish from the spot, de la Vega injected energy into the match with his direct play and electric dribbling.

Club debuts

In addition to de la Vega, central defender Nathan, goalkeeper Andrew Thomas and forward Danny Musovski all made their first Sounders appearances on Saturday. The Sounders were forced to switch away from Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s 4-2-3-1 formation when attacking midfielder Albert Rusnák was injured in training late this week. Nominal starters João Paulo, Stefan Frei and Yeimar all missed out due to injuries as well.

Home opener awaits

The Sounders return to Lumen Field next Saturday for their 2024 MLS home opener against Austin FC (7:30 p.m. PT; Watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV | TICKETS).

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