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Sounders at Minnesota United, recap: Early goals lead to easy win

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Seattle dominate Loons as unbeaten streak extends to seven games.

The goals are suddenly flowing and the Seattle Sounders are suddenly cruising. Clint Dempsey scored a pair, Jordan Morris ended a 10-game goal-less drought and Will Bruin added his eighth of the season as the Sounders beat Minnesota United 4-0 on Saturday to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games.

The early game was defined by two teams playing distinct styles. The Sounders wanted to play a run-and-gun style flowing forward quickly and immediately pressing after turnovers. Minnesota settled into a punt-and-cross game. With quick goals by Bruin and Dempsey the Rave Green were able to continue their technique and coast to victory.

With all four of the Sounders attackers providing high pressure the Loons were forced into several poor passes. This was typical of the game and the first goal came off a Bruin-Dempsey give-and-go.

It was a designed play that gave the Sounders their second goal. A short corner forced Minnesota to open too much space and the well-crafted play succeeded.

The Loons were able to get a few sequences off that threatened goal. They were particularly effective going wide and crossing into spaces that Roman Torres needed to defend.

As the score got away from United, they needed to find a new technique. They did in the second half responding by pressuring Seattle. The Loons regularly threatened goal and it was Stefan Frei who kept the game under control as the rest of the Sounders lost their marks.

And then the flood gates re-opened.

Using a defensive sub Brian Schmetzer’s side took control of possession. Brad Evans entered for Will Bruin. Jordan Morris moved to the top and B-Rad became a floating defensive player playing LM, LB and RM as the formation needed. That defensive move let Seattle burst forward in attack.

It was Jordan’s first goal for the Sounders since April 23rd. Joevin Jones and Clint Dempsey joined the fun. Dempsey scored his second of the game, ninth on the season. Joevin collected his 10th assist.

Schmetzer then inserted Tony Alfaro for Roman Torres and Aaron Kovar came on for Jordan Morris. Despite mostly defensive moves, the Sounders dominated in attack. On at least two occasions it looked like Dempsey would get his hat trick. Unfortunately, there was no hattie for Clint.

Seattle is now third in the West, unbeaten in seven and ninth overall. It was their third straight shutout (two on the road) and the team hasn’t given up a goal since the 50th minute against D.C. United. That’s 310 minutes without a goal if you are counting at home (we are).

Sounders host Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City on Saturday August 12 at 1 PM Pacific. First place could be on the line, depending on Sporting’s results in their two matches (Sunday hosting Atlanta and Wednesday hosting San Jose in the Open Cup) prior to their trip to Seattle.