Key Matchups

Three matchups to watch when the Sounders take on LAFC

The Seattle Sounders are visiting reigning MLS Cup champions LAFC on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. PT; MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM) in their second meeting of the season. Here are three matchups to watch:

Raúl Ruidíaz vs. Denil Maldonado

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Veteran forward Raúl Ruidiaz had a show stopping performance last match against Charlotte FC after tallying a brace for the Rave Green. He currently sits as the second-leading goal scorer on the team with four, after only playing 10 of the 18 MLS Regular season matches this year due to injury. He will likely be facing up against center back Denil Maldonado, who was recently loaned out to LAFC back in December from Honduran team CD Motagua. With his international experience competing with the Honduras national team and leagues Primera División (Chilé), Liga MX (Mexico) and Liga Nacional (Honduras), he brings versatility and knowledge to the already strong back line of LAFC.

Jackson Ragen vs. Dénis Bouanga

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Homegrown Player Jackson Ragen has proven his worth so far this season as one of the main components that makes up the Sounders back-four. The center back not only has the ability to hit long balls up-front and create goal scoring opportunities, he also serves as a brick wall in the back, making crucial defensive plays in order to prevent any dangerous chances from the opposition. Ragan will be facing Dénis Bouanaga who currently stands in the No. 2 position in most goals scored this season in the league with 10. The Gabon international recently won the Concacaf Champions League Golden Boot after scoring seven times in eight matches.

Albert Rusnák vs. Ilie Sánchez

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With the opportunity to play the 10 role last game against Charlotte, Albert Rusnák was able to push higher up the pitch, resulting in an assist for the veteran midfielder. While that hasn’t been his typical position this season, he’s shown plenty of talent in the build-up of the attack with his ability to dribble and his overall technique on the ball. Rusnák's main opponent will likely be midifielder Ilie Sánchez, who has been a major asset for LAFC on both sides of the pitch. He was one of three LAFC players to earn a 2022 MLS All-Star selection during their Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup-winning season.

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