SEATTLE – The MLS Best XI trio all score a goal, as the Sounders knock LAFC out of the playoffs for the second year in a row.
From the blow of the whistle, this was a match dominated by the Seattle Sounders. They came out the aggressor and created chance after chance for themselves in the opening 45. What really stood out in that, was their great combination play. That was ever present on their opening goal in the 18th minute.
Raúl Ruidíaz sent a cross that found the foot of Jordan Morris in the box, left of the frame. He promptly laid it off to a cutting Nicolás Lodeiro who drove the ball home near post. Showing off the trio’s chemistry and talent level.
Nico and Ruidíaz again combined for a goal once the second half rolled around. Nico took a corner in the 66th that deflected off an LAFC player and found a retreating Raul. With his momentum carrying him away from the goal, the striker wound up his right leg and sent in a shot that just went off the fingertips of Pablo Sisniega for the 2-0 lead.
Raúl in the postseason is NEXT LEVEL
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) November 25, 2020
LAFC did not go quietly into the night on this day. Eduard Atuesta was able to get on the end of a Carlos Vela cross and brought the club within 1 in the 77th. However, the excitement only lasted a total of 3 minutes for them as Jordan Morris put the nail in the coffin after yet another beautiful combination from Nico and Raul.
The three Sounder players who make up the bulk of the clubs scoring, showed once again why they are so deadly when on the field together. In total, they combined for 3 goals and 4 assists. Morris and Lodeiro are both candidates for the 2020 MLS MVP, while Ruidíaz finished two goals off of the league leader Diego Rossi.
The win marked the second time in 2 years that the Rave Green knocked off LAFC 3-1 in a playoff match. Unlike last year where the winner moved on to MLS Cup, now FC Dallas awaits in the semifinals.
18’ SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (Assist: J. Morris, R. Ruidíaz)
66’ SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz
77’ LAFC – Eduard Atuesta (Assist: C. Vela)
80’ SEA – Jordan Morris (Assist: R. Ruidíaz, N. Lodeiro)
As alluded to in the previous paragraph, the Sounders have a date with FC Dallas in the semifinals. This will be the first matchup this season between the two sides that have quite a history together. Last season FC Dallas had the advantage in the regular season going 1-0-1 vs Seattle, but the Sounders got revenge with a 4-3 playoff win over Dallas in the opening round.
The teams will meet next Tuesday December, 1st at Lumen Field. That game is scheduled for a 6:30 kickoff and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
Russell is the Content Director for the Eli Network. He studied broadcast journalism at Eastern Oregon and North Dakota State University. Mostly covers soccer and basketball in the Seattle area and is the current play-by-play voice for Seattle Redhawks basketball. You can follow him @brussbrwn.