Yeimar Goméz Andrade did all the scoring – for both teams – as the Seattle Sounders were forced to settle for a 1-1 tie with Minnesota United on Sunday.
The Sounders started well when Nicolás Lodeiro found Yeimar for a header in the 17th minute. Yeimar contorted his body to hit the shot to the far post. It was Lodeiro's first primary assist in 17 league games and in his last 19 games overall.
There were a few chances to build on the lead but nothing too enticing, and Minnesota ultimately found the equalizer when Emanuel Reynoso put a free kick into the box that Yeimar headed past Stefan Frei.
The result was enough to push the Sounders up to third place in the Western Conference, albeit with one more game played than Real Salt Lake, who also has 37 points.
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16' – The Sounders get their first decent look on goal when Albert Rusnák connects on a header that looks like it might be bound for a far corner, only for it to be cleared off the line.
17' – GOAL! Nicolás Lodeiro puts in a cross that Yeimar Gomez Andrade contorts himself to hit back across goal to give the Sounders the lead. 1-0.
20' – Raúl Ruidíaz is played in and it looks like he has Jordan Morris streaking in, but his cross is a little late and behind and it’s cut out.
37' – Minnesota creates some sustained pressure and possession that culminates with Michael Boxall getting a wide open header at the edge of the 6-yard box, but he hits it high.
48' – Lodeiro sends a cross through the box that is misplayed by the Minnesota defense, but both Yeimar and Morris are slow to react.
56' – GOAL! Emanuel Reynoso puts a free kick into the box that Yeimar heads into the back of the net for an own goal. 1-1
63' – Alex Roldan laces a left-footed shot from about 16 yards out but Dayne St. Claire handles it easily.
68' – Stefan Frei comes up with a big stop after Hassani Dotson gets a shot off from inside the box.
75' – Nouhou puts an inviting cross into the box that finds Morris, but it takes an awkward bounce and Morris can't put it on frame.
86' – Frei comes up with another good save on a Ismael Tajouri-Shradi shot from about 20 yards out.
Subtle changes: Brian Schmetzer said this week that there would be a different lineup but that the changes would likely be subtle. Boy, that was accurate. The only change Schmetzer made to the lineup was replace Léo Chú with Obed Vargas and to move some of the other players around. To their credit, the changes did seem to work reasonably well for about 75 minutes or so. Vargas had some genuinely bright moments and the team overall had more balance than they've had in previous games.
No bench: While the starting lineup changes were about as conservative as you could have reasonably expected, what's harder to understand is Schmetzer's reluctance to use his bench more, especially during a three-game week. Léo Chú was the only sub before the 85th minute, and that move came in 70th. Then he brought in Paul Rothrock for Albert Rusnák in the 85th before bringing on Xavier Arreaga in the 90th. It would have been one thing if the Sounders were looking sharp during the later stages of the game, but they were pretty much barely holding on from at least the 80th minute forward. It’s been a recurring theme.
Vargas a bright spot: If there was one reason for optimism coming out of this game it was that Obed Vargas looked far more like the player who looked like a breakout star at the U20 World Cup despite being the youngest player on the USA roster. He was active defensively, dynamic pushing the ball through the midfield and mostly made good decisions on his passing. He was hardly perfect, but the tentative player we've seen mostly since he returned from international duty was nowhere to be found.
Did you see that?!?
Yeimar with an expert finish to give the Sounders a lead.
He said what?!?
One stat to tell the tale
3 – This is just the third time in Sounders history that they've dropped points against Minnesota United. Their overall record against the Loons now stands at 11-1-2.