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Scouting Report: Not the same old Loons

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Seattle will look to remain perfect against Minnesota on Saturday.

MLS: Seattle Sounders at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

What You’ll Watch

The Seattle Sounders hit the road to take on Minnesota United at their brand new sparkling stadium. This will be the first of two meetings between the two clubs and the only one in Minnesota. The Sounders will look to remain perfect against the Loons.

Minnesota currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference with a record of 4-3-2 (14 points in nine games played; 1.56 ppg) while the Sounders remain in third place with a record of 5-1-3 (18 points in nine games played; 2 ppg). Last time out, the Sounders earned a hard fought one point in their 1-1 draw with LAFC and Minnesota won 1-0 against D.C. United.

The Sounders are perfect against Minnesota with a 4-0-0 record. They have scored 11 goals and have conceded just three. In Minnesota, the Sounders are 2-0-0 and have scored six goals and conceded only once. Last time in Minnesota, the Sounders scored two goals in stoppage time to steal a 2-1 victory.

A Tale of the Tape

Seattle

Last Five: W-W-L-T-T

Leading Goal Scorer: Jordan Morris, four goals

Assist Leader: Nicolas Lodeiro, six assists

Minnesota

Last Five: W-T-L-T-W

Leading Goal Scorer: Darwin Quintero, five goals

Assist Leader: Romain Metanire, four assists

Suspensions and International Duty

Minnesota

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Seattle

Suspensions: Kelvin Leerdam (red card)

International Duty: N/A

Injury report

Minnesota

Out: n/a

Questionable: Chase Gaspar (hamstring), Darwin Quintero (ankle)

Seattle

Out: Gustav Svensson (hamstring)

Questionable: Will Bruin (hamstring), Chad Marshall (knee), Raul Ruidiaz (heel), Nouhou (ankle)

Match Officials

REFEREE: Tim Ford

AR1: Brian Dunn

AR2: Cory Richardson

4th: Guido Gonzales, Jr.

VAR: Ricardo Salazar

AVAR: Eric Weisbrod

What to Watch

  • Ever since they launched in 2017, Minnesota has been pointing to 2019 as the year they expected to compete for the playoffs. So far, so good. They’re currently sitting sixth in the Western Conference, well clear of the playoff cutoff line, despite having played six of their first nine on the road. They went a perfectly respectable 3-3-0 in those six road games and seem to have dramatically improved a defense that had allowed 141 goals over the past two season (a MLS record for any two-year stretch). The Sounders’ perfect record (4-0-0) against the Loons will definitely be tested in ways it hasn’t been before.
  • Among the key differences to this Minnesota team are the addition of veterans Ike Opara and some guy named Osvaldo Alonso. Both players have battled injures in recent years but have missed just one game between them this year. Alonso, in particular, has now made 24 consecutive starts, dating back to last year. You have to go back to 2015-16 to find the last time he did that and back to the 2010 season to find a longer streak of consecutive starts.
  • For the most part, Alonso is the same player he was during the past two seasons with the Sounders. He completes a ton of passes (91.6 percent of his 56.2 per game) and helps start the attack from the deep midfield. His defensive stats are about what you’d expect, too, as he makes about 2.3 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and .7 blocks per game. One notable difference is that he’s been dribbled past 14 times. Last year, he was dribbled 11 times in 27 appearances. It’s unclear why that’s happening, but it’s probably not entirely unexpected for a player who’s possibly be asked to do a bit more defensively than he had been previously.
  • Getting dribbled seems to be a significant issue for Minnesota, as a whole, in fact. Francisco Calvo (2.4 per game) and Rasmus Schuler (2.4) are two of the four most dribbled players in the league.
  • Calvo, it should be said, has not played in either of the past two games and it’s unclear if he’ll feature in this one. Perhaps not coincidentally, Minnesota has registered back-to-back shutouts for the first time in their history in those games.
  • On the other side, Minnesota’s offense continues to be led by Darwin Quintero, who’s quietly having a stellar season. His eight combined goals and assists are tied for fifth most in MLS. He did, however, leave United’s last match with an injury and his status for the weekend remains unclear. Angelo Rodriguez (four goals) is the only other United player with more than two goals and right back Romain Metanire (four assists) is the only other player with more than two assists. If Quintero can’t take his normal spot as the left wing in Minnesota’s 4-3-3, the job probably falls to Miguel Ibarra (just one goal this year but he had seven goals and seven assists last year).

How to Watch

Date/Time: Saturday, May 4th @ 5:00 PM

Location: Allianz Field — St. Paul, MN

TV: JOEtv

Streaming: YouTube TV

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)