- Los Angeles FC won the Supporters’ Shield this year as the top team in MLS with a record 72 points
- In four head-to-head matchups between LAFC and the Seattle Sounders, the California-based team has a 3-0-1 edge
- Los Angeles striker Carlos Vela is on fire, having scored in 10 straight starts, registering 14 goals over that stretch
Having won the first playoff game in franchise history with a 5-3 victory over the rival Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles FC will look to book its place in the MLS Cup Final with a home win over the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday.
But LAFC, which had the most regular-season points in Major League Soccer history this season in just its second year of existence, will host the Western Conference Final against a playoff-tested team. Seattle is back in the conference final for the third time in four seasons, having won the MLS Cup in 2016, before going back to the final a year later.
So while Bob Bradley’s team leads the way in the MLS Cup odds, the Sounders are no strangers to overcoming the odds, particularly after beating Toronto FC in the Canadian team’s own stadium to win their first MLS championship.
LAFC vs Seattle MLS Cup Playoffs Odds
|Los Angeles FC||-1.5 (+110)||-240||O 3.5 (+110)|
|Seattle Sounders||+1.5 (-130)||+575||U 3.5 (-130)|
*Odds taken on October 28, 2019
Vela on Fire
If Seattle has any designs on reaching the MLS Cup Final for a third time in four seasons, LAFC striker Carlos Vela will have to be stopped.
The former Arsenal frontman had a season for the ages in 2019, scoring an MLS-record 34 goals. If anything the Mexican forward is seemingly just rounding into form, having scored in each of his last 10 starts and finding the back of the net 14 times over that span.
He had two goals in LAFC’s 5-3 playoff win over the Galaxy in the last round, and had a hat-trick in the final regular-season game of the season, a 3-1 win over Colorado. And the 30-year-old is no stranger to Seattle either, having scored twice in LAFC’s 4-1 home win over Seattle back in April, before scoring again in the 1-1 draw back in Seattle a week later.
In LAFC’s short history, the two teams have played four times, with LAFC registering three wins to go along with the lone draw between the teams.
LAFC had a pair of somewhat fortunate 1-0 wins against Seattle last year – including in the first game in LAFC history – and the 4-1 victory earlier this year that saw some bad blood erupt when Cristian Roldan received a red card after getting a little too aggressive with Eduard Atuesta.
Los Angeles has also excelled when playing Western Conference teams this season, with 15 wins compared to Seattle’s 11, and only lost once at home all season, when Minnesota United left town with a 2-0 win.
LAFC vs Seattle 2019 MLS Statistics
|72 (Finished 1st in Western Conference)||Total Points||56 (Finished 2nd in Western Conference)|
But Seattle is no stranger to upsetting the apple cart.
This is the club’s fifth trip to the Western Conference final, and though all of the first four were two-legged affairs under the old MLS Cup playoff format, the club advanced to two MLS Cup finals and was only denied a third by losing on away goals to the Galaxy in 2014.
Pure finish from Nicolás Lodeiro to help send the Seattle Sounders to the Western Conference Finals 👌 #MLSCupPlayoffs
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 24, 2019
Even last year’s squad, the only one in the last four years not to make it at least this far in the playoffs, was eliminated on penalty kicks at the conference semifinal stage.
Much of this Sounders team, from goalkeeper Stefan Frei and defender Chad Marshall, to Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris further up the field, have been together throughout Seattle’s recent run of success.
And when it comes to total playoff wins, while LAFC just chalked up their first last week, Seattle has 14.
Pick: LAFC (-240)
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