Seattle Sounders projected Starting XI against LAFC

Rave Green will face the newest rival in the 2024 MLS season opener this weekend without many starters.
Seattle Sounders FC v Los Angeles Football Club
Seattle Sounders FC v Los Angeles Football Club / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

A highly anticipated rivalry match between LAFC and Seattle Sounders FC is scheduled for this Saturday, February 24th, at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. The game will start at 1:45PM (PT) and will be the first MLS regular season match for both teams in 2024.

Brian Schmetzer's team travelled to Los Angeles with a reduced squad. João Paulo, a key player, has a left hip injury that keeps him out of the game. He will likely be replaced by the 18-year-old Obed Vargas.

Their captain, Stef Frei, will miss the game due to a right hamstring injury. Andrew Thomas should have his first opportunity with the Seattle Sounders after many games with the Tacoma Defiance.
Two other players, Reed Baker-Whiting and Braudilio Rodrigues, have hamstring injuries that made them unavailable.

Yeimar, who missed most of the preseason because of visa problems, is questionable for the game and likely did not go to LA. Nathan has been the center back who played the preseason games on the right side of the defense.

Pedro de la Vega, the new young Designated Player (DP), went to Canada to complete his visa process and is expected to land in LA on Saturday, right before the game. However, the Argentine winger may not be fit enough to play the whole match.

Albert Rusnák, who traveled to LA with the team, suffered an ankle injury in the final practice session and will miss the season opener this weekend. This is the trickiest part of the puzzle that Schmetzer will need to solve at the last minute. Here are a few options we might see during the game:
1 - Pedro de la Vega playing in the Center Attacking Midfielder (CAM) spot.
2 - Cristian Roldan playing as the CAM, then having Dylan Teves or Paul Rothrock as the right winger.
3 - Raul Ruidiaz as the striker and moving Jordan Morris and/or Cristian Roldan to different positions.
We should know Schmetzer's decision just one hour before the game starts.

The good news is that Alex Roldan and Jackson Ragen are not listed in the MLS players status report. This way, the team that will start against LAFC this weekend should be:

"A. Thomas; A. Roldan, Nathan, J. Ragen, Nouhou; O. Vargas, J. Atencio; C. Roldan, P. de la Vega, Léo Chú; J. Morris."