When Adrian Heath wakes up in a cold sweat, there’s a reasonably good guess that he’s been thinking about playing the Seattle Sounders. It’s not just because the Sounders became the first team in MLS history to win a playoff game in which they were trailing in the 88th minute — erasing a 2-0 deficit to Minnesota United in the process — it’s that the Sounders are now 8-0-1 against teams coached by Heath. Orlando City went 0-2-0 against the Sounders under Heath and Minnesota is now 0-6-1.
Heath’s teams have actually scored first in five of those nine meetings, going 0-4-1. Historically, soccer teams win about 70% of the time when they score first.
Unbelievably, this is not even the first time a Heath-coached team has managed to lose a game to the Sounders in which they led so late. Back in 2018, the Sounders trailed United 1-0 in the 91st minute before winning that game 2-1 on a Will Bruin goal in the 97th minute.
This loss was surely even more painful.
“It’s a cruel game when you’re on the receiving end of it,” Heath said, noting his team was on two fewer days’ rest. “Late on, we were sort of running on empty a little bit and obviously when you do that, you concede space and suddenly they’ve got extra bodies in the box and you leave yourself vulnerable. Unfortunately, that’s what happened.”