The Seattle Sounders are hosting LAFC on Friday at CenturyLink Field (7 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) in their second meeting of the 2020 MLS regular season. Here are three matchups to watch.
Jordan Morris vs. open space
The Sounders’ left winger has been fantastic all season, punctuated by his most dominant performance yet last week with a goal and three assists in a 7-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes. Morris has always had devastating speed, but his ability to make crucial runs as well as drag defenders out of position to create space in behind for both himself and teammates has taken his game to a whole different level. Whomever lines up at right back for LAFC is going to have his hands full stopping No. 13.
Kelvin Leerdam vs. Diego Rossi
Things you love to see: Major League Soccer’s Golden Boot leader against its highest-scoring defender. LAFC’s Uruguayan dynamo has 10 goals in 11 matches this season, including one last week in a win over the Portland Timbers. His counterpart in Leerdam has scored in each of his last two matches and loves to push forward. Will Leerdam’s attacking nature force Rossi to remain honest and track back? Will Rossi’s constant threat keep Leerdam at bay? The cat-and-mouse affair on that flank will go a long way in determining Friday’s outcome.
Nicolás Lodeiro vs. Eduard Atuesta
Atuesta had missed five straight matches with an injury before returning for a 10-minute substitute cameo last weekend. Whether he starts or makes another appearance off the bench, he’ll likely figure at some point in Friday’s contest. LAFC have shipped the second-most goals in MLS this season and are hoping their defensive midfielder can stanch the bleeding. Lodeiro, who has two goals and four assists in his last six matches, and the Sounders will be looking to keep momentum after their seven-goal masterclass last week.