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Seattle Sounders - LAFC summary: score, goals and highlights, MLS Cup Playoffs

Update:
Seattle Sounders - LAFC summary: score, goals and highlights, MLS Cup Playoffs

Seattle Sounders - LAFC: As it happened

A first half strike from Denis Bouanga was enough to book LAFC's return to the Western Conference final.

LAFC faced a tough task on the road against an in-form Seattle Sounders side and could have gone behind in the early stages. Visiting goalkeeper Maxime Crepau made a sharp early save from Jordan Morris and impressed throughout. 

The only goal of the game came midway through the first half when LAFC found Bouanga in space on the left. The Gabonese forward tore through the Seattle defence before lashing a right-footed finish into the top corner. 

The hosts dominated the game in the second half but LAFC managed to keep their opportunities to a minimum. The closest Seattle came was a long-range effort from Joao Paulo that cannoned off the crossbar. 

LAFC's experience helped them to see out some nervy late moments and set up a Conference final against Houston Dynamo on Saturday 2 December

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LAFC back in the Western Conference final!

They have struggled for consistency at times this season but LAFC just know how to get the job done when it counts. There was little to choose between the two teams on the night but a fine individual goal from Denis Bouanga and an imperious performance from goalkeeper Maxime Crepau was enough to win the game for the visitors. 

The Black and Gold march on, now just two wins away from retaining MLS Cup. 

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90+9

Full time at Lumen Field!

LAFC have done it! A first half goal from Denis Bouanga was the difference as Steve Cherundolo's side book their place in the Western Conference final

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90+8

The ball is crossed in from the right but Maxime Crepau comes out to claim in the box. 

That is surely it for LAFC now?!

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90+8

One final push forward from the hosts, Joao Paulo pumps the ball forward...

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90+7

The free kick is worked short to Joao Paulo, who strikes at goal from distance. The midfielder's effort is wild and flies over the crossbar

LAFC are closing in on the final...

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90+6

There's a breakaway chance for Denis Bouanga but his right-footed shot is easily saved by Stefan Frei. 

Seattle come forward again and Lodeiro is fouled by a recovering Bouanga, who is quite clearly exhausted. 

Another chance to deliver. 

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90+5

LAFC survive yet another corner and Chiellini smashes the loose ball up field. 

Seattle are growing in confidence, feeding off the energy from the stands, but do they have enough time left to prise apart this LAFC defence?

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90+4

So close!

Albert Rusnak let's fly from 30 yards out and it crashes into the crossbar! It must have taken a deflection on the way through because Seattle now win a corner kick. 

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90+3

LAFC do well to win the first header and get the ball clear. Seattle come back again with Ruidiaz on the edge of the box. 

The forward takes aim from range but it's blocked by an LAFC body in the box. 

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90+2

Seattle work it down the right with Roldan and Rusnak. They switch it out to the left where Lodeiro looks to fire in a cross. 

The ball is deflected out for a corner...

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90+1

Maxime Crepau punts a goal kick forward but Seattle win it back immediately, looking to get it back up-field. 

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90

There will be a minimum of eight minutes of added time!

Still time for Seattle to snatch a leveller. 

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90

There's a change for Seattle too, Reed on for Nouhou

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90

Two changes for LAFC in a bid to secure things, Cristian Olivera and Timothy Tillman off for Aaron Long and Sergi Palaencia

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89

Giorgio Chiellini

The veteran defender is booked for hauling down Ruidiaz on the halfway line. 

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88

Seattle have the ball in the back of the net, but the whistle has gone!

The ball clipped Ruidiaz's hand in the box, before landed at the feet of Jordan Morris. The Seattle man rifled the ball home brilliantly but the whistle goes for the hand ball.

Agony for the hosts!

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87

The free kick is flicked away by Hollingshead. LAFC survive. 

We're into the final three minutes of regular time now. 

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86

Diego Palacios

The LAFC fullback is booked for an overly-physical challenge on Roldan near the touchline. 

Seattle have another set piece, can they take advantage of it now?

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85

Bogusz delivers but it's well-claimed by Frei. The Seattle stopper looks to get his team back on the offensive. 

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85

LAFC mount a rare attack with Cristian Olivera on the left flank. He shows good footwork to evade Roldan before being clipped by the Seattle winger. 

The visitors win a free kick near the corner flag. 

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84

Maxime Crepau

The LAFC goalkeeper, who has been outstanding so far, picks up a booking for time-wasting. 

He won't be too disappointed with that. 

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81

So close! 

Maxime Crepau is a man on fire tonight! Joao Paulo makes come space on the edge of the 18 and curls a shot towards the top corner.

Crepau springs across to tip it over the crossbar. What a save form the LAFC stopper. 

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80

Alex Roldan forces a top save from Crepau from the edge of the box. Seattle win the corner kick, Chiellini is back on the field. 

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79

Giorgio Chiellini is briefly off the pitch as he receives treatment for a minor knock. LAFC temporarily down to ten men, Ilie Sanchez fills in at center back. 

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78

First change for the visitors as Mateusz Bogusz comes on for Carlos Vela

He will bring a little more off-the-ball industry than the Mexican forward can offer. 

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77

There's another delay to play as LAFC win a free kick in the box. The MLS Cup holders are looking to run down the clock as we approach the final ten minutes, Seattle still looking to force a leveller. 

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75

So close!

Joao Paulo curls the ball in and it drops at the feet of Yeimar Gomez. He pokes the ball goalwards but LAFC clear off the line

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74

Carlos Vela fouls Joao Paulo in the midfield, giving Seattle another change to deliver into the box. 

Paulo will take the free kick from the right flank. Seattle have filled the box for this one...

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73

Marauding run forwards from Nouhou on the left, winning a corner kick for his team. 

Lodeiro curls in a dangerous cross but the ball falls to Rusnak, who slashes the ball harmlessly wide of the target. 

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72

We're into the final 20 minutes of regulation time, Seattle are starting to push more men forward now. 

The hosts now have Lodeiro playing off the left, with Ruidiaz playing centrally behind Morris. On the right, Christian Roldan

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71

Another change for Seattle, Raul Ruidiaz coming on for Joshua Atencio

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70

Lodeiro's delivery is poor and LAFC clear easily, sparking another counter-attack. Bouanga brings the ball forward and LAFC work it up to Carlos Vela in the box. 

Vela strikes at goal with his left but it's deflected out for a corner. 

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69

Denis Bouanga is back defending and clips Alexander Roldan near the touchline. The LAFC forward avoids a booking, but that will probably be his final warning. 

Lodeiro to cross form the right...

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67

Clever ball from Christian Roldan finds Jordan Morris running in behind the LAFC backline. He looks to muscle his way through but Ryan Hollingshead does brilliantly to ease him off the ball. 

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66

Joao Paulo

There's another Seattle yellow card, this time for a mistimed challenge on Tillman in the midfield. 

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64

There's a bit of concern for Seattle as Jackson Ragen goes down, ten yard into the LAFC half. He gets to his feet gingerly, but looks like he'll be ok. 

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63

More frustration for the home support as Hollingshead prevents Frei launching a quick counter-attack. 

The Lumen Field atmosphere cranks up higher still. 

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61

Huge appeals for a foul as Chiellini brings down Roldan on the edge of the LAFC box. 

Referee says no, but the replay suggests that was a foul from the Italian. Seattle feel rightfully aggrieved. 

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60

Chance for Seattle!

Good combination play from Rusnak and Lodeiro on the left flank, working the ball forward. Lodeiro rolls the ball into Jordan Morris in the middle, who turns and strikes at goal. 

he can't quite make space for a shot and LAFC boot the ball clear. 

 

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58

Christian Roldan whips in a cross from the right, seeking out Jordan Morris. The Seattle forward is close to connecting with the cross but Crepau sprints out to punch the ball clear. 

The home crowd is on its feet now. 

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56

Huge roar of applause greets Lodiero as he trots out onto the field, the Seattle legend potentially making his final appearance for the club. 

He has recorded 19 previous playoff goal involvements. How his side would dearly love another tonight. 

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56

First change from the hosts. Nicolas Lodeiro comes on for the Sounders, replacing Leo Chu.

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55

The corner ball is headed clear by LAFC. Seattle regain possession and pump the ball forward but a foul is given in the box for an overly-zealous aerial challenge on Murillo. 

Free kick to LAFC. 

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54

The hosts win a corner after a poor touch from Jesus Murillo. Rusnak will deliver from the left...

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53

Seattle have struggled to get their wingers - Leo Chu and Christian Roldan - involved so far. Without their widemen they are struggling to work the ball through to Morris up front. 

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52

Maxime Crepau delays the taking of the goal kick and gets A) a talking to from the referee and B) a torrent of abuse from the home crowd. 

He eventually punts the ball long. 

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51

Albert Rusnak delivers for Seattle but he overhits his cross and it bounces harmlessly out of play for a goal kick. 

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50

Aside from the opening five minutes, Seattle have not been able to exploit Chiellini's lack of pace at the back. The LAFC defender struggled in the early stages when Morris had space in behind but has looked more composed since then.

Seattle win a free kick, around 35 yards from goal, on the right. 

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49

Ryan Hollingshead gets caught on the ball on the edge of his own box and is surrounded by three Seattle players. The LAFC defender goes down under pressure and wins a free kick for his team. 

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47

Nouhou brings Seattle forward down the left and looks to swing in a cross, but gets his delivery all wrong. It sails out for an LAFC goal kick. 

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46

No changes at the half for either team, but Seattle might be considering a substitution fairly soon. Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro are both on the bench for the hosts, the goalscorers in their 2019 playoff victory over LAFC.

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45

And we're back!

Seattle Sounders get the second half underway...

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Seattle are out on the pitch, ready for the second half to start.

LAFC take their time in the locker room and trot out onto the field, before heading into a huddle. 

Cue huge boos from the unimpressed home crowd. 

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Seattle tifo makers take aim at LAFC

Taking out the trash? Seattle Sounders have 45 minutes to find a goal our they will find themselves taken out of the 2023 MLS Playoffs. 

Let's see what the home crowd can must in the second half. Their season is on the line here.

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WATCH: Denis Bouanga bags 37th of the season

At halftime the difference between the two teams is one Denis Bouanga. The Gabonese forward got his fourth goal of the 2023 playoffs with a fine individual strike. 

Here's how it looked from MLS' pitch-side camera...

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Bouanga goal gives LAFC halftime lead

They have not been at their best, but LAFC have a 1-0 advantage thanks to a brilliant individual goal from Denis Bouanga. The MLS Golden Boot winner picked up the ball on the left wing and blitzed through the Seattle defence before finishing from a tight angle.

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45+1

Halftime in Seattle

LAFC win the ball back from the corner and look poised to mount a counter-attack, until the whistle is blown for half time. 

The visitors are furious with the timing of the referee's whistle, but they will be delighted with their 1-0 halftime lead. 

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45

Seattle win a corner kick in the final seconds of the first half. Can they muster something from this opportunity?

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45

There will be a minimum of one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half. 

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44

Good feet from Leo Chu but the Seattle winger can't quite make space for a shot. 

LAFC clear but Seattle come back again.

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44

Denis Bouanga wants a free kick after goes down under pressure from Roldan, but the referee waves away his claims. Seattle look to mount another attack before the half...

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43

Joao Paulo lets fly from 35 yards, a powerful right-footed drive from distance. For a second it looks promising but Crepau saves comfortably. 

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41

Chiellini and LAFC take the opportunity to slow the game down as half time approaches. The hosts have a free kick on the edge of their box, which Crepau will pump forward. 

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40

Joshua Atencio

The Seattle midfielder goes into the book for a mistimed challenge on Giorgio Chiellini. The youngster was a little unlucky there, but he was late. 

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39

Acosta goes in hard on Joao Paulo and gives away another free kick. 

The Seattle midfielder curls in a cross from the left but Tillman heads the ball clear. 

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37

Seattle dink the ball forward from the free kick, but LAFC have the players back to clear. 

They get Bouanga forward on the counter-attack, up against already-booked Nouhou on the right flank. The Seattle defended does well to muscle him off the ball and regain possession. 

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36

Gorgio Chiellini gives away a free kick for a clumsy challenge, 40 yards from goal. 

Joao Paulo to take...

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34

LAFC are playing with a bit more confidence now and enjoy a spell of possession inside the Seattle half. 

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WATCH: Denis Bouanga goal breaks deadlock

Here's Denis Bouanga's opening goal for LAFC. A brilliant finish from the number one goal scorer in MLS. 

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32

Good play from Carlos Vela on the halfway line to hold up the ball and win a free kick for his team. 

It was a bit soft, and the home crowd do not like that decision. 

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It was against the run of play but it was not out of character from Denis Bouanga

He picked up the ball in space on the left flank and tore towards goal, leaving the Seattle defence for dead, and thrashed the ball past Stefan Frei. 

 

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30

Gooooooaaaal! Denis Bouanga

One chance, one goal!

Absolute lethal play from Denis Bouanga who races through the Seattle defence and rifles the ball into the top corner. Sensational goal from Bouanga!

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29

Leo Chu is bundled over by Hollingshead on the left flank, winning a free kick for his team. 

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28

Carlos Vela is furious after being felled on the halfway line, without winning a foul. 

The LAFC front three haven't managed to have much of an impact in the opening 28 minutes. 

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27

Chants of "SEATTLE, SOUNDERS' roll around Lumen Field. 

The home crowd are in good voice tonight, pushing their team to find an opening goal. 

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25

LAFC boss Steve Cherundolo will not be very happy with the last ten minutes. His team have struggled to get a foothold in the game and Seattle are dominating the ball. 

The visitors look a bit out-gunned in the midfield. 

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24

Big challenge from Chiellini who sprints out of the backline to put in an important challenge on Joao Paulo. 

The 39-year-old showing his experience there. 

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23

Seattle come forward again with brace win from Joao Paulo in the middle. He looks to switch the ball to Roldan on the right but Palacios is there to intercept. 

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21

Vela whips in a near-post cross but Seattle get there first.

The loose ball falls to Cristian Olivera but the LAFC forward's shot is well wide of the target. 

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19

Nouhou Tolo

The Seattle defender makes another rash challenge near the touchline, picking up a booking this time.

LAFC have a free kick near the corner flag on the right, Vela to take...

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18

Seattle can't make anything of the corner kick and LAFC win the ball back. Crepau pumps the goal kick forward to get his team back on the offensive. 

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17

Chance for Seattle!

Joao Paulo whips in a cross from the left, aiming for Morris in the middle. Ilie Sanchez gets back to head the ball clear and Seattle win a corner. 

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16

After a frenetic start the pace of the game has slowed slightly, both teams respecting the danger the other poses on the attack. 

Seattle are starting to enjoying more of the possession, Joao Paulo's influence in midfield becoming increasingly apparent. 

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13

Confident footwork from Jackson Ragen, skipping past Bouanga on the halfway line and drawing cheers from the home crowd.

A good example of Seattle's ball-playing abilities there. 

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12

Yeimar gets a talking to from the referee after a collision with Acosta. 

It was a little clumsy from the Seattle man and LAFC win a free kick on the halfway line. 

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11

Seattle have looked good in the first ten minutes but are being fairly conservative with their shape out of possession. As soon as LAFC get the ball Seattle are dropping deep, denying LAFC any space in behind their backline. 

That might help guard against Bouanga and Olivera's pace, but it could make them a bit too reserved. 

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10

Nouhou gives away a cheap free kick near to the touchline, giving Carlos Vela a chance to deliver from the right. 

He whips in a teasing cross but Seattle get the ball clear. 

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This is shaping up to be a real high-quality clash at Lumen Field. Both teams look sharp in the opening stages and there's a terrific atmosphere in the stadium.

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6

Good opening for LAFC as Carlos Vela plays a one-time pass to Denis Bouanga in the Seattle box. Bouanga latches onto the ball and looks to curl it into the far corner of the goal, but his effort flies wide of the post. 

Neat interplay from the visitors. 

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5

The quality of Seattle's counter-attacking play will be of real concern for Steve Cherundolo in the opening minutes. LAFC have looked decent in possession but the dynamism of Seattle's forward runs is causing problems. 

Bit test for the 39-year-old Giorgio Chiellini against pacey Jordan Morris. 

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Huge moment!

Seattle play it over the top to Jordan Morris, who smokes past Chiellini and bares down on goal. He looks to lift it over Crepau but the LAFC stopper makes a good save. 

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3

Carlos Vela does well to hold the ball up on the halfway line and work it out to Bouanga on the left flank. 

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2

Brilliant run from Rusnak to get Seattle on the attack. The ball is crossed in from the left for Joshua Atencio, he slams a half volley at goal. 

Crepau makes a smart save down to his right. 

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LAFC start on top, controlling possession in the early stages. Seattle are not sitting back, though, and are looking to distupt LAFC's build-up play. 

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And we're off!

We're underway in this Western Conference semi-final. A place in the final at stake...

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What an atmosphere at Lumen Field, we're nearly ready to go!

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Which teams are in the MLS Cup Playoffs Conference finals?

Seattle Sounders and LAFC are competing for a place in the Western Conference final, where they will take on Houston Dynamo. Here's the full list of 2023 MLS Conference finalists...

Read more

William Gittins

The teams are out at Lumen Field

Seattle Sounders and LAFC head out onto the field for tonight's semi-final clash. They have met twice before in playoff competition, with Seattle coming out on top in both previous meetings. 

But LAFC are a team in good form and boast MLS Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga. Can LAFC get payback tonight?

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Kick-off is now just minutes away and there is a fervent atmosphere at Lumen Field as the two teams enter the field. There's 34,000 in attendance for this clash between two teams with real ambitions of clinching MLS Cup once again. 

Full live coverage coming shortly...

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Incredible atmosphere at Lumen Field

Tonight brings together two of the pre-tournament favourites for a winner-takes-all MLS Cup Playoff clash. We're expecting fireworks on the field and there could plenty more in the stands too. 

LAFC's famous 3252 supporters group were in great voice ahead of kick-off, taking to the streets in Seattle. 

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Preparations underway for LAFC

The MLS Cup holders are not short on attacking talent, but Denis Bouanga has been a stand-out performer this season. He played a part of their triumph last season but has really come into his own in 2023, scoring 34 goals in all competitions for the team. 

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Seattle coach on Ruidiaz and Lodeiro

"If I need them, for sure. Let's hope it doesn't go to 120 or penalty kicks but I've got a deep bench there. If I need them, I'll use them."

Brian Schmetzer, Seattle Sounders head coach

LAFC starting XI

Here's how Steve Cherundolo's MLS Cup holders line up this evening. Again, no major surprises for LAFC and a full-strength squad. 

Carlos Vela starts alongside Denis Bouanga and Christian Olivera in a fluid front three. Giorgio Chiellini features from the off in the heart of defence. 

William Gittins
Giorgio Chiellini: “It is not easy to create a dynasty”

LAFC are looking to book their place in the Western Conference final tonight and defender Giorgio Chiellini believes that his side have what it takes to retain the championship. The Italian explained recently that they are gunning for repeat titles, but admitted that it wont' be easy.

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William Gittins

Seattle Sounders team news

Here's the hosts' starting XI for tonight's Western Conference semi-final, no surprises for Brian Schmetzer's team. Jordan Morris will lead the line for Seattle, meaning that Raul Ruidiaz must start on the bench for what could be his final game for the club. 

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With kick-off fast approaching, we should have team news from Lumen Field very shortly...

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One to watch: Denis Bouanga

The LAFC marksman has been in incredible form this season, putting him among the three favourites for the 2023 MLS MVP. Bouanga has already picked up the MLS Golden Boot and really hit top form in the final weeks of the season. 

The Gabonese forward's 36-goal haul in 2023 is the second-best single-season scoring record in MLS history. 

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Sounders in the house!

The Seattle team arrives in style at Lumen Field. And no wonder, they come into the game on top form after a stunning late-season run. Seattle Sounders went unbeaten in their last ten games of the regular season to secure number two seeding in the Western Conference. 

 

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LAFC's 3252 fan group make themselves heard

This may be a road game for LAFC, but the famous 3252 fan group are out in force. LAFC have not always reached the heights this season but come into tonight's game in good form. 

William Gittins
Carlos Vela opens up on future and contract with LAFC

What next for Carlos Vela? The Mexican forward is looking to lead his team to back-to-back MLS Cup titles, but rumours persist about his future. Vela recently spoke about the possibiility of leaving LAFC at the end of the 2023 season. 

“It has to be something that works for both parties and if it works out I would be happy to continue and finish my career here at this team, but if it doesn’t then it’s part of the game and I’ll look for another team,” he said.

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William Gittins

Scene is set in Seattle

The 37,000-capacity Lumen Field is the venue for tonight's winner-takes-all MLS Cup Playoffs semi-final. LAFC have an impressive record against Seattle, winning eight and losing just four of their 17 previous MLS games. 

However, LAFC's only win at Lumen Field remains their very first meeting in March 2018. 

William Gittins
MLS Cup Playoff penalties rules: what happens if a playoff game is tied?

Both of Saturday's Eastern Conference semi-finals featured late drama and it would be no surprise to see something similar at Lumen Field. Columbus Crew needed extra time to beat ten-man Orlando City, but we have not yet seen a penalty shootout in the semi-final stage 

Here's what happens in the event of a tie...

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Hosts arrive at Lumen Field

Seattle Sounders edged out FC Dallas in Round One of the playoffs but face an entirely different opposition for tonight's semi-final. LAFC are extremely experienced, but so too is the Seattle squad. 

Jordan Morris, sporting luminous yellow sneakers as he arrived tonight, was part of the Sounders team than won MLS Cup in 2016 and 2019. 

William Gittins

The MLS Cup Playoffs action continues with a fascinating clash on Sunday evening. 

Seattle Sounders host LAFC in the Western Conference semi-final, bringing together two of the most experienced squad in the entire league. Seattle still boast a number of players from their 2016 and 2019 MLS Cup-winning teams, while LAFC are looking to retain their 2022 title. 

I'm Will Gittins and I'll be bringing you all the action from Lumen Field...

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