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Sounders vs. Minnesota United: Highlights, stats and quotes

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Sounders open season in impressive fashion.

There were some signs of rust and the formation is still a work-in-progress, but the Seattle Sounders opened their season in high style with a 4-0 win over Minnesota United, one of the teams many expect to challenge for Western Conference supremacy. After a first half that included a seemingly ominous miss from the penalty spot by Raúl Ruidíaz, the Sounders dominated the second half with four goals. Two of those came from Ruidíaz, with both João Paulo and substitute Fredy Montero contributing a goal and an assist apiece.

MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 4 – Minnesota United FC 0

Friday, April 16, 2021

Venue: Lumen Field

Referee: Joseph Dickerson

Assistants: Jeremy Hanson, Mike Rottersman

Fourth Official: Timothy Ford

VAR: Jon Freemon

Attendance: 7,042 (limited capacity)

Weather: 70 degrees and clear

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA – João Paulo 49’

SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (Will Bruin) 70’

SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (Cristian Roldan) 73’

SEA – Fredy Montero (Alex Roldan) 86’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

MIN – Emanuel Reynoso (caution) 32’

SEA – Xavier Arreaga (caution) 44’

SEA – João Paulo (caution) 54’

MIN – Chase Gasper (caution) 76’

SEA – Cristian Roldan (caution) 90’

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Shane O’Neill, Xavier Arreaga (Yeimar 77’), Nouhou, Brad Smith (Ethan Dobbelaere 82’); João Paulo (Kelyn Rower 77’), Josh Atencio, Cristian Roldan; Will Bruin (Fredy Montero 71’), Raúl Ruidíaz

Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Jordy Delem, Danny Leyva

Total shots: 17 (Ruidiaz, 7)

Shots on goal: 9 (Ruidiaz, 5)

Fouls: 13 (João Paulo, 4)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 6

Saves: 4 (Frei, 4)

Minnesota United FC – Dayne St. Clair; Michael Boxall, Brent Kallman (Jukka Raitala 80’), Romain Metanire, Chase Gasper; Jan Gregus (Osvaldo Alonso 79’), Robin Lod, Emanuel Reynoso, Ethan Finlay (Ramon Abila, 65’), Wil Trapp; Hassani Dotson (Justin McMaster 81’)

Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Juan Agudelo, Jacori Hayes, D.J. Taylor, Nabilai Kibunguchy

Total shots: 17 (Reynoso, 5)

Shots on goal: 5 (Five players, 1)

Fouls: 19 (Boxall/Reynoso, 4)

Offside: 4

Corner-kicks: 3

Saves: 5 (St. Clair, 5)

POST-MATCH QUOTES: SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 4 – MINNESOTA UNITED FC 0

SOUNDERS FC FORWARD RAÚL RUIDÍAZ (VIA TRANSLATOR)

On having fans at the stadium:

“I felt very happy to have our fans back at home. It was very important to feel their support and I’m happy also that little by little we are going to get people into the field and into the stadium and the support is going to grow.”

On starting the season with two goals:

“From what I recall I don’t think I have ever started a season with two goals in my first match, so I’m very happy for that. But what I’m really happy for is that we actually finished out the game with three points which is something that I think is the most important thing. But it is very good for a striker like me to start a season like this with two goals. It’s a motivation.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER JOÃO PAULO (VIA TRANSLATOR)

On seemingly struggle in the first half:

“Well, it’s normal, it’s the very first match of the season. So the new formation, there are other factors as well that contributed to some isolation. It will happen again. But the good news is that we made the adjustments for the second half, particularly when it comes to building up the play, we started to win the second balls in midfield and that started to build the strength of the team and the important thing is to get the result.”

On what changed after the team started to win balls in the midfield:

“There is no particular recipe, we just started to connect better, with simple moves. Helping and finding our teammates. That way we started to build the play. We have players up front that are very strong when it comes to technique and conclusion so we know that every time we can build the play and move like that we can be dangerous.”

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On what it was like having fans:

“It was awesome, I mean I loved it. For many different reasons. I thought everyone was being safe I was looking at the pods because I had family in the stands. I know that the club has worked hard with all the governmental agencies who have the fans come back safely, which is always our number one goal. So, I thought that was another success of the evening. There were a lot of successes tonight but having the fans come back and again, if we all wear our masks and we are safe and people get vaccinated, hopefully by the end of the year we will be out of this and you know we will have 40,000 people.”

On what was his favorite goal:

“I will tell you that all of the goals were very, very high quality but I do have a soft spot in my heart for Fredy Montero. So, seeing him score that goal, that was a just reward for his coming back to Seattle, working hard in preseason, and coming into the game and changing the game. I mean, I don’t know what you guys saw but when Fredy comes on you saw the quality that he has. So, for me probably that one, just with a little bit of you know, reminiscing about how he scored the first goal for this franchise in MLS history, that was probably my favorite.”