The Seattle Sounders are hosting the LA Galaxy on Monday night (7 p.m. PT; Twitter, FOX 13+, Prime Video, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) in their final home match of the MLS regular season. Here are three matchups to watch:
Jordan Morris vs. Julian Araujo
Eight months after injuring his ACL, Morris is back. Head Coach Brian Schmetzer confirmed this week that his 2020 MLS Best XI attacker “is going to feature” against the Galaxy. He won’t start, but his pace and incisiveness as a super sub should cause the Galaxy’s back line trouble. Araujo, one of the best young right backs in the league, will have the unenviable task of trying to close out the match with Morris running at him.
João Paulo vs. Sebastian Lletget
The Sounders deeply missed João Paulo in their loss at LAFC last week, as his absence was felt on both sides of the ball. The Brazilian central midfielder is No. 3 on the MLS MVP Power Rankings for a reason and will have to try and get the better of the United States international. Lletget starts out wide nominally but likes to come inside and occupy dangerous pockets of space that João Paulo will need to cut off.
Yeimar vs. Dejan Joveljić
Yeimar is a contender for MLS Best XI and MLS Defender of the Year after a commanding season in which he’s helped anchor the joint-best defense in the league. The imposing Colombian center back is first in MLS in interceptions and second in tackles, and he’ll need to have a strong showing against the Galaxy. Big-money Designated Player Javier “Chicharito” Hernández missed LA’s last match with a non-COVID illness, and his status for Monday appears to be up in the air. Head Coach Greg Vanney will turn to midseason acquisition Joveljić in some capacity, as the 22-year-old Bosnian has shown a promising start in Carson working behind and in tandem with Chicharito.