The Seattle Sounders are visiting LAFC on Tuesday night (7:30 p.m. PT; ESPN, ESPN Deportes, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM) with a crucial three points on the line as the regular season winds down. Here are three matchups to watch:
Will Bruin vs. Jesús David Murillo
With Raúl Ruidíaz still nursing an injury he suffered while on international duty with Peru, Bruin will need to have a huge performance leading the line. The LAFC defense has allowed 45 goals in 31 matches this season, so Bruin & Co. should have plenty of opportunities to find the back of the net.
Kelyn Rowe vs. Latif Blessing
Two key central midfield options will be unavailable on Tuesday, as the Sounders’ João Paulo is suspended due to yellow-card accumulation, while Eduard Atuesta, who scored in the teams’ first meeting this season, is still recovering from injury. Rowe is the only Sounder to have played in every match this season, and he’ll need to have an influential impact in the center of the park against the Ghanian Blessing in order to leave Los Angeles with three points.
Xavier Arreaga vs. Cristian Arango
Arango, who signed with LAFC in August from his native Colombia, is the most in-form player in MLS. The potential MLS Newcomer of the Year has 12 goals in 14 matches, including six in his last three games. Arango has largely been the only source in attack during the long-term injury to Carlos Vela and midseason transfer of Diego Rossi. As the quarterback in the Sounders’ three-center back system, Arreaga will need to have his back line organized and know where Arango is at all times. If the Sounders can keep Arango off the score sheet, they’ll have a massive opportunity to earn a result.