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Sounders at Minnesota United, recap: Eventually you break

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Seattle fall 1-0 to Loons as the patchwork roster is unable to work miracle.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Minnesota United FC
What if I stumble, what if I fall?
David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Beaten down through injuries and callups, the Seattle Sounders held strong for over 80 minutes on the road against Minnesota United. Bending, bending, bending, the side eventually broke when they gave up a single goal in the 1-0 loss to the Loons, the first ever to Adrian Heath’s side and the first of the season.

The loss ends the unbeaten run at 13 games — all it took was a roster with two hardship callups, a bench that included two goalkeepers, and a Loons side that didn’t significantly threaten goal for the first 85% of the match.

Robin Lod earned the victory, as he was particularly effective late in the game. Lod’s goal finished off a sequence when he likely earned a penalty, that would go unreviewed as he later scored. His chances in the chances in the 80th and 81st minutes were better than the sum total of danger that Seattle created.

Sounders will have little time to recover from the loss as they play at Austin FC on Thursday (6:30 PM PT, ESPN) and without someone healing will be eligible for three hardship callups — Xavier Arreaga will miss that match due to yellow-card accumulation. It was also revealed that Kelyn Rowe was playing with flu-like symptoms.

Seattle enters the week still leading the West and the Shield with 29 points. New England and Kansas City the only teams within 3 points of the leaders.

Key moments

6’ — AB Cissoko stops a solid Loons attack by using a Nouhou-esque shield and dribble.

7’ — Raul picks the pocket of the Minnesota defense, springing Montero out on the flank. Fredy’s cross found Medranda, but Jimmy’s one-touch schross was ineffective.

13’ — Danny Leyva forced to commit the tactical foul when Fragapane breaks through Rowe, JP, Yeimar. Minnesota wastes the free kick from a dangerous spot.

15’ — Yeimar brings Hunou down in the box. The CR gave a no call on the shoulder challenge. Sixty seconds later the play was paused for a brief conversation with the video assistant, the no call stands.

17’ — After a hard foul, Yeimar steps on Gaspar’s arm. Yellow is shown. Seattle now has two on caution.

27’ — Lod wastes a United break by pounding the ball into Yeimar’s legs and then throwing the Colombian down to the ground after the ineffective shot. Seattle gets fortunate that the Finn turned a 3 on 3 into failure.

29’ — After a foul called on Xavi, Minnesota’s free kick has to deal with a six-man wall. Just a bit high.

40’ — On their fourth corner kick Minnesota remains ineffective. Loons dominating attacking chances on the morning.

43’ — Montero sends Jimmy Medranda racing directly on goal. Medranda’s toe-poke shot with power is directly at former Sounder Tyler Miller. It was the most danger Seattle’s created in the first half.

45’ — It’s Ruidiaz’s turn to challenge Miller. His snap shot from the top of the half-circle forces a full stretch from Miller.

47’ — On a corner, Cissoko just taps a ball off his upper thigh towards goal. Miller never notices the danger. Loons’ post defender manages to clear the ball.

64’ — Arreaga gets a delayed yellow. The third Sounder to get a yellow. He will now miss the midweek match at Austin FC.

65’ — AB Cissoko heard something from Adrian Heath and will not backdown. The 4th official and most of Seattle have to pull AB away from the opposing coach and later he gets into it with Reynoso.

70’ — Josh Atencio enters for Brad Smith. There are cascading changes as Medranda drops back to LWB, Leyva steps up to AM, and Atencio is JP’s partner.

74’ — Atencio sombreros one, dribbles another. Just downright abuse. Seattle earns a dangerous free kick from the sequence. Xavi puts that kick in the net, but he’s a half-foot offside. Good call.

80’ — Lod, on a break after a bad turnover, is pulled down from behind by AB. Cleveland picks up the dribbling ball. Play goes on for minutes. Lod scores at 81’ to put United up 1-0. The no call results in a Loons goal.

85’ — Samuel Adeniran and Ethan Dobbelare come on for Leyva and Cissoko. Formations shifts to Atencio at LCB.

Quick thoughts

Seattle’s Depth Is Strong: Starting Rowe, Leyva, Atencio, Medranda, Cissoko, and Cleveland, the Sounders were close to stealing a point. For a squad with so many absences, they didn’t look like pushovers. The youth movement and budget signings nearly pulled out a 0-0 result on the road.

You Bend Enough, You Break: Minnesota kept the pressure on Seattle. The early onslaught was rejected. Later those paths towards goal became more open, more threatening. Heath kept at it, just a little pressure against untested and/or exhausted men knowing that they would eventually fail — they did. And still, Seattle’s worst result of the season is not one that any side can look to as a path to victory, with the exception of Austin FC and maybe Sporting Kansas City because eventually, the squad will return to health.

More Darkness Comes: Xavi had a solid match in defense, saving several opportunities, but his yellow was his fifth of the season, meaning he’ll miss the next game. His absence is going to be particularly painful in the midweek match.

Did you see that?!?

AB Cissoko nearly thighed the ball into goal.

He said what?!?

“If we came into Minnesota to try and steal a point, that’s when you trip up. Unfortunately, MLS is a hard league. Minnesota were ready, they were pumped up. Our franchise, we always express optimism as far as what we’re trying to accomplish.” - Brian Schmetzer on the approach to the match

One stat to tell the tale

30 — Seattle’s last shot was at 60’. The Jimmy Medranda shot was the final time Sounders challenged the goal without a call canceling the action.


Poll

Who was the Man of the Match in the 1-0 loss to Loons

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    João Paulo
    (195 votes)
  • 10%
    Kelyn Rowe
    (39 votes)
  • 21%
    Jimmy Medranda
    (77 votes)
  • 12%
    Xavier Arreaga
    (45 votes)
356 votes total Vote Now