8:30 p.m. at Seattle • FS1, 1500-AM
Playoff rematch featured on national TV
Preview: The Loons return to Lumen Field for the first time since Dec. 7, when they took a 2-1 lead into the 89th minute of the Western Conference final against Seattle and lost 3-2 after the Sounders scored twice in four minutes. The rematch is part of a doubleheader that opens the MLS season. San Jose plays at Houston at 7 p.m., and then FS1 nationally carries a game about which Loons coach Adrian Heath said: "The reason it's live on FOX [FS1] is because people see it as a big, big game. It's one of the bigger of the weekend. That's why we're on TV." … Heath on Wednesday said he had decided who will start at goalkeeper but wouldn't say if it will be Tyler Miller or Dayne St. Clair. … About 7,000 fans masked and socially distanced in pod seating are expected to be allowed. … The Loons are 0-6-1 against the Sounders in MLS play. The draw came 1-1 on May 4, 2019, at Allianz Field. … The Loons are 2-2 in season openers, losing in 2017 and 2018 and winning in 2019 and 2020. … Friday's game is a homecoming for Loons midfielder Hassani Dotson, the U.S. U-23 national team member who grew up in suburban Federal Way, Wash.
Injuries: Heath called Loons starting center back Bakaye Dibassy a game-day decision because of a thigh injury. He also said he'll have a "couple decisions on a couple players" as well. Sounders DP midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro is not expected to play. "We're not going to put him at risk; it's way too early for that," Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said.