Lodeiro opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Morris dropped a perfect pass to the Uruguayan, whose one-timed effort snuck inside the near post.
LAFC’s Carlos Vela had a chance to equalize on a penalty kick three minutes letter, but his shot was saved by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Morris had two chances to extend Seattle’s lead starting in the 54th minute, when his one-timed shot from 12 yards out missed wide right. Morris then hit the post in the 59th minute. Lodeiro nearly got his brace in the 60th minute when Morris played a deft pass for Lodeiro in the box, but his shot hit the outside of the post and went wide.
Ruidíaz doubled the Sounders’ advantage in the 66th minute with a sublime half-volley off a deflection on a corner kick. The Peruvian now has an astonishing eight goals and six assists in just seven career MLS postseason games.
LAFC’s Eduard Atuesta scored on a one-timed deflection off a cross from Vela in the 77th minute to bring the Black and Gold back within one.
Morris earned his goal just three minutes later following a great run by Ruidíaz, who played an easy through ball for Morris, who calmly slotted his left-footed shot past Pablo Sisniega.
Mark-Anthony Kaye appeared to have pulled one back for the visitors in the 88th minute, but he was ruled offside after Video Review.
The Sounders will host FC Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals on Dec. 1. FC Dallas defeated the Portland Timbers on penalty kicks at Providence Park in the opening round.
For the second straight season, the Sounders defeated LAFC in the MLS Cup Playoffs by the score of 3-1. Following last year’s masterclass in Los Angeles in the Western Conference Championship, Seattle got the better of LAFC yet again when it matters most.
NEW NICO, SAME RESULTS
Nobody benefitted more from the Sounders’ two-week hiatus than Lodeiro, the engine in Seattle’s midfield who leads the league in distance covered. After playing three matches a week for more than a month, the Sounders’ captain was all over Lumen Field like a man possessed and was a constant headache for LAFC on both sides of the ball. He scored his eighth career MLS postseason goal, which Ruidíaz tied later in the match to extend the Sounders’ all-time lead, as well as recorded his eighth career postseason assist.
The Sounders will host FC Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals, a year after defeating FCD in a 4-3 extra time thriller in Seattle. Because of COVID-19 scheduling, the Sounders have not faced FC Dallas this season. Luchi Gonzalez’s side won a Round One thriller of their own against Portland, with 17-year-old Ricardo Pepi equalizing in stoppage time before winning 8-7 on penalty kicks.