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The Review: Seattle Sounders vs Minnesota United

We finally have some positives to talk about.

Last Updated
4 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

For just the second time all season the Seattle Sounders won a match in front of their own fans at Lumen Field. On Saturday, they defeated Minnesota United 2-0 in a no-nonsense 90 minutes. A much-needed win doesn’t mean all wrongs are right, but there are some positive takeaways. Let’s get into it.

Winners and Losers

Winner: Jordan Morris

I would like to start by reiterating that just because the Sounders beat a somewhat depleted Minnesota United, it doesn’t mean all the worries are subsided. However, Morris now has four goals in five games and things are coming together. Seattle is 2-1-2 in those five games.

If you remember all the way back to preseason, the talk of the town was that Morris was going to get the opportunity to play as the forward in Brian Schmetzer’s setup. Due to injuries and disastrous form, Morris has been shoehorned out wide as a make-shift wide forward to make room for Raúl Ruidíaz. In these situations, it’s not that Morris is doing something entirely different than what he would do if he were playing as a No. 9, but what’s happening around him couldn’t be more foreign.

Against the Loons, Morris had an attack set up for him to succeed. He was able to be the one running onto through balls and making dangerous runs in the box instead of having to be involved in the build-up, which he was able to do repeatedly. With better finishing, Morris could have had another goal and two assists. That’s exactly what you want from Morris.

Loser: Raúl Ruidíaz

To piggyback off the point above, it’s incredibly telling how fluid the Sounders looked in attack without Ruidíaz on the field. Even in a situation where Seattle was seeing out the game up 2-0, the DP forward didn’t make an appearance.

After the match, Schmetzer told the press that the reason Ruidíaz didn’t start – or play at all – was because of Minnesota’s three-centerback setup. To an extent, I’m sure it was about this specific matchup, but Ruidiaz is a flawed forward with the way this roster is constructed. The Sounders are worse as a whole when he’s on the field, despite his ability to score from anywhere besides the penalty area. Even if “worse” players have to play to make the team play better, I think the end of Ruidiaz’s Sounders career needs to come much sooner than later.

Winner: Paul Rothrock

If I had a nickel for every home match the Sounders won in 2024 where a fullback had to come off injured very early in the first half and the substitute ended up putting in a MOTM-type performance, I’d have two nickels. That’s not a lot of nickels, but it is certainly a weird thing to have happened twice.

On April 6 against Montreal, Nouhou had to be subbed off in the 11th minute due to some tightness in his leg. Cody Baker subbed in and ran the game from LB. On Saturday night, within seconds of the match kicking off, Alex Roldan was clattered into by Devin Padelford and both needed to come off with concussion symptoms.

Instead of going like-for-like with the sub, Schmetzer decided to move Cristian Roldan into his brother’s position and Paul Rothrock came on to play on the wing. After a few minutes, Rothrock swapped with Léo Chú and played the remainder of the match on the left, which worked extremely well! Rothrock was at the center of the fluid attack down the left-side and paired really well with Albert Rusnák and Nouhou. It wasn’t necessarily a $10m DP-type performance by any means, but he did a great job of creating danger and making the players around him better. Exactly what you want from a winger.

As previously stated, this is the second time something like this has happened. In both cases, it led to the Sounders winning their only home games of the season (so far). Early injuries aren’t planned for, obviously, and you can’t really know what’s supposed to happen if those injuries don’t take place but I would like to see this type of innovation from the off in coming games.

What happens next?

There’s this really odd thing happening within our ranks currently. A lot of fans aren’t happy with a lot of things and that’s understandable. The roster is stale, there’s some disagreeable things happening at the front office level, and the season hasn’t gone according to plan. Without touching the third rail on all of that, the sky isn’t necessarily falling even if things feel like they suck! You simply don’t have to be that good to be “good” in MLS. It’s really not something we’re used to as Sounders fans, but you can be below average for much of the season and still make hay.

There’s a very favorable run of games coming up. There’s a transfer window the decision makers need to be active during. The current team can and should get better. Things can change very quickly and the overall vibe can shift with just a little bit of sunshine.

I don’t want to come across as the opinion police or anything like that. I think there are extremely valid reasons why some fans are upset about the state of things. Be it certain sponsors or the roster or any number of things. However, one thing that should never waver is our support of each other and our support of the boys on the field. Hope for this season is not lost just because you no longer think the Sounders are the best team in the league or whatever. Something can happen with this current team, flaws and all.

For our boys, until the end.