SEATTLE — Gustav Svensson’s 26-yard strike likely goes down in Seattle Sounders history as one of the team’s most aesthetically pleasing goals. Svensson hit it so clean and so hard that you half expected it to rip through the back of the net. If it doesn’t win MLS Goal of the Week, well, some other fanbase did a very good job stuffing the ballot box.
Nearly as impressive as the goal itself, though, was the buildup. It wasn’t just that the Sounders completed 22 straight passes before Svensson’s goal, all 22 of them were in Minnesota’s half.
Unlike many of these long strings of passes that lead to goals, there was no reset, giving Minnesota no real chance to get fully settled in. The vast majority of the passes were on the edge of the offensive third as the Sounders patiently waited for an opening. Osvaldo Alonso does most of the heavy lifting with eight passes -- one of which earned him a secondary assist — and he’s the only player who made touches in each of the vertical thirds.
The goal also was the culmination of a three-minute stretch that saw the Sounders pin Minnesota back while only briefly allowing the ball beyond the midfield stripe. The Sounders completed 33 of 36 passes (91.6 percent) during that stretch.
Perhaps still a bit shellshocked, Minnesota yielded another goal only about three minutes after Svensson’s goal.