LAFC starts MLS Cup Playoffs against familiar opponent in the Seattle Sounders – Press Enterprise
Last season, the Los Angeles Football Club’s run to the MLS Cup final was derailed by the Seattle Sounders.
Seattle eliminated top-seeded LAFC in the Western Conference Finals, 3-1.
The first stop on the 2020 playoff road will have LAFC and Seattle renewing acquaintances.
LAFC finished in seventh place in the Western Conference and will travel to face Seattle who finished second in the conference. A date and time for the single-elimination meeting has yet to be announced.
“A rematch with Seattle … that’s a real opportunity to think back to last year and the way the season ended with a chance to see what we can do to even things up,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said Sunday.
The teams are more than familiar with each other, plyaing four times this season. The teams have split the four meetings.
“I believe we are capable of winning MLS Cup, but again, you go a game at a time, and so we know that we start in Seattle,” Bradley said. “Always a tough game. … From the start we’ve had really good games with them, but we know that last year, they came here and knocked us out of the playoffs in the conference finals. So we’ve got to see if we can settle that score and go there and be at our best.”
LAFC very well could be shorthanded in the opener due to the international break that will see Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez joining the Uruguayan national team and Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios joining Ecuador for their respective World Cup qualifiers.
Ecuador plays Thursday and Nov. 17 and Uruguay plays Friday and Nov. 17. Upon their arrival back in Los Angeles, the players will have to undergo a quarantine period before rejoining their club teams in training.
“I think they will be back, but I don’t think that they will be out of quarantine,” Bradley said. “We don’t know the date of our first game, so I guess there’s still details where I can’t give out 100 percent answer, but based upon the way it’s all been laid out with quarantine after the international break, I think it’s unlikely that the players that leave to play on their national teams will be able to play in the first game of the playoffs.
“We are going to take the group that’s here. We know we play Seattle. We are going to work like crazy for two weeks and go to Seattle and give our best effort to move on.
“I’m not here to complain. But does it really … is it frustrating? It is incredibly frustrating. But there’s nothing that we can do. So you make sure that everybody that’s going to be here is ready. We’ve got a couple weeks to continue training. We’ve thought about this for a few weeks, and so it’s just the situation that I guess is part of a crazy year. You know, scheduling international breaks, playing games when players are away, those are things that need to be improved. Can you imagine if in Europe the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain and both teams missing a bunch of guys on quarantine? I mean, everybody would go crazy.”