MX23RW : Thursday, September 23 16:46:46| >> :120:28658:28658:
Jul 18, 2021 at 7pm UK at National Sports Center
Minnesota UtdMinnesota United
1-0
SeattleSeattle Sounders
Lod (81')
Reynoso (64')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Leyva (13'), Gomez Andrade (18'), Arreaga (64')

Preview: Minnesota United vs. Seattle Sounders - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Minnesota United and Seattle Sounders, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders travel to Minnesota United on Sunday, seeking to extend their unbeaten start to a 14th league game at Allianz Field.

Having surpassed an MLS record for the number of matches without defeat, now the Sounders take on a home side who themselves had not lost in seven outings prior to their setback at Colorado last time out.


Match preview

Seattle Sounders FC defender Nouhou (5) and Minnesota United FC midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (10) have words during the first half at Lumen Field on April 17, 2021© Reuters

Head coach Brian Schmetzer has been taking the plaudits of late, as his Seattle side broke a long-standing league record with a 2-0 victory over Houston Dynamo in their most recent fixture - usurping four other clubs that previously reached the 12-match mark without a loss.

They have now won eight of their games this season, with the other five ending in draws; setting the pace in the Western Conference, where they enjoy a three-point lead heading into this weekend.

With centre-back Nouhou Tolo, midfielder Joao Paulo and 10-goal striker Raul Ruidiaz all excelling this term, the 2016 and 2019 MLS Cup champions continue to prove their doubters wrong, after many predicted they would struggle to compete for a top-seven berth before a ball was kicked.

Against Houston, Schmetzer's men finally broke through in the 63rd minute, as Kelyn Rowe notched the opener before Ruidiaz eventually added a goal of his own in stoppage time - having rattled the crossbar in the early stages - to seal a victory which means the Sounders also hold a 14-match home unbeaten streak in regular-season action, dating back to September 2020.

They will continue their improbable quest for an undefeated season on Sunday, away from their Lumen Field stronghold, when meeting one of their favourite opponents in Minnesota, who they have overturned in seven of their eight MLS meetings to date - including a 4-0 win on the opening day of the 2021 season.

Minnesota United midfielder Adrien Hunou celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on June 27, 2021© Reuters

Though they have fared woefully in their previous encounters with Seattle, it is likely that Minnesota United may still fancy their chances of bringing the Washington-based outfit back down to earth this week.

Confidence should remain relatively buoyant in the camp, despite their own seven-match unbeaten run ending with a 2-0 loss at Colorado last time out, with the Loons failing to score for the first time since a 1-0 reverse against Austin at the start of May.

That particular fact seems to contradict the attacking statistics which show that United have the lowest shooting accuracy in the league - finding the target with just 26% of their shots - and only Austin have a lower shot conversion rate than Minnesota's 6.5% this season.

Head coach Adrian Heath admitted his team's performance in Colorado was not acceptable, and seeing that undefeated streak ended without much resistance was "probably the most disappointed" he has been in the last two years.

Veteran midfield lynchpin Osvaldo Alonso - who previously played for the Sounders for 10 seasons and captained them to four U.S. Open Cups and the 2016 MLS Cup - will be among the key figures upon his return to Allianz Field, as his current club seek to put things right at the first available opportunity.

Heath is sure to call upon the Cuban workhorse to help dig out an against-the-odds success against the league's leading side, which would consolidate Minnesota's claims for a playoff place amid a packed mid-section of the Western Conference standings.

Minnesota United Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W



Team News

Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer on June 27, 2021© Reuters

Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer will again be without both Alex Roldan - who scored on his international debut during El Salvador's 2-0 win over Guatemala in the Gold Cup last week - and his elder brother Cristian Roldan (currently representing the USA) on Sunday.

In addition, attacking midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro and goalkeeper Stefan Frei continue to be sidelined by long-term knee injuries, while Shane O'Neill, Jordy Delem and Jordan Morris - who injured his ACL while on loan at Swansea City - will miss out too.

Ecuadorian defender Xavier Arreaga is available again after the Copa America's conclusion, so should feature as part of a back three for the league leaders.

Minnesota also have Dayne St. Clair away on international duty, with Canada, and previous ever-present defender Michael Boxall is also an absentee having been forced to miss the defeat to Colorado through injury, ahead of his upcoming Olympic Games campaign with New Zealand.

On-loan Boca Juniors striker Ramon Abila must serve a suspension after picking up a red card as a substitute last time out, so Adrien Hunou is likely to be supported by Abila's former Boca colleague Emanuel Reynoso up front.

Minnesota United possible starting lineup:
Miller; Gasper; Kallman, Raitala, Finlay; Lod, Gregus, Alonso, Fragapane; Reynoso, Hunou

Seattle Sounders possible starting lineup:
Cleveland; Gomez, Arreaga, Cissoko; Smith, Atencio, Paulo, Medranda, Rowe; Montero, Ruidiaz


SM words green background

We say: Minnesota United 0-1 Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders are in pole position for the Supporters' Shield and are still glowing from writing their own page in MLS history, so should expect to take home at least a point - if not three - on Sunday.

Having managed various absences admirably so far, the visitors remain depleted, but Minnesota are unlikely to breach their defences too often given their previous profligacy in the final third.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data


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How you voted: Minnesota Utd vs Seattle

Minnesota United
9.8%
Draw
24.6%
Seattle Sounders
65.6%
61
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City25116844291539
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2476113029127
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City25116844291539
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2476113029127
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

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