The Seattle Sounders and LAFC played to a scoreless draw at Lumen Field on Saturday in one of the early heavyweight matches of the Major League Soccer season.
Albert Rusnák had the best chance of the first half for either team when he one-timed a shot from outside the box in the 23rd minute, but it rattled off the post.
Raúl Ruidíaz forced LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy into a tough save in the 45th minute when his effort looking for the far post was parried out for a corner.
Ruidíaz had another good look in the 51st minute when Nicolás Lodeiro played a beautiful cross in that Ruidíaz couldn’t quite get his head on.
Obed Vargas, who missed much of last season with a stress fracture, earned his first minutes of the year when he came on for João Paulo in the second half.
LAFC nearly found a late winner in the 89th minute when Kwadwo Opoku skied a close change over the crossbar. Opoku had another chance in the second minute of stoppage time when Stefan Frei denied Opoku with a kick save from the left side of the box.
Seattle, which donned The Bruce Lee Kit for the first time, extended its unbeaten home record against LAFC to seven consecutive matches (4-0-3). LAFC has still only won once at Lumen Field, which came in the Black and Gold’s first MLS match in 2018.
The Sounders will head on the road for back-to-back matches, starting with a trip to Sporting Kansas City next Saturday (5:30 p.m. PT; MLS Season Pass on Apple TV app).
HIGHLIGHTS: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Los Angeles Football Club | March 18, 2023
Ruidíaz in the Starting XI
The Sounders’ Peruvian Designated Player made his first appearance of the MLS season in the Starting XI and went 63 minutes. After recovering from an injury, Ruidíaz made his MLS debut in a nine-minute cameo two weeks ago against Real Salt Lake before going 32 minutes last week at FC Cincinnati.
Arreaga called upon
Sounders center back Xavier Arreaga earned his first minutes of 2023 when he entered as a second-half substitute for an injured Jackson Ragen. The Ecuadorian international stepped up in a big way, helping to keep a clean sheet.
The Sounders earned their third shutout in four matches to start the MLS season and have only conceded once. Seattle did not record its first clean sheet until 10 matches into the 2022 domestic campaign and finished with just six total.