Seattle Earns First Win of the Season in 3-1 Romp over Minnesota United FC at CenturyLink Field
SEATTLE, WASH. - Seattle Sounders FC (1-3-1, 4 points) earned its first win of the 2018 MLS season on Sunday afternoon in front of 39,477 fans at CenturyLink Field and a national television audience on ESPN, as the Rave Green bested Minnesota United FC (2-5-0, 6 points) by a final score of 3-1. First-half goals from Gustav Svensson and Will Bruin were scored within two minutes of each other, while Jordy Delem added an insurance tally in second-half stoppage time. With the win, Seattle is now unbeaten in two MLS games following last weekend's 2-2 draw in Kansas City. The club also moves to 22-3-7 inside CenturyLink Field in MLS play under Head Coach Brian Schmetzer, including postseason play. Additionally, the club is now 3-0-0 in MLS action against Minnesota with a 9-2 goal difference, having beaten the 2017 expansion side in both matchups last season.
Sounders FC captain Osvaldo Alonso made his return to the starting XI on Sunday vs. Minnesota United FC (Mike Fiechtner / Seattle Sounders FC).
Central midfielder Svensson unleashed a belted shot from the edge of Minnesota's area in the 23rd minute of play, with the thundering strike finding the upper right corner of Bobby Shuttleworth's net. For the Swedish National Team player, it was his third goal in all competitions since joining the Rave Green in January of 2017. Teammates Cristian Roldan and Osvaldo Alonso were credited with assists on the play, as the latter made his first start of 2018 after returning from injury a week ago as a substitute in Kansas City.
Just two minutes later, Nicolás Lodeiro unlocked United's defense, moving swiftly through central midfield before playing a through ball to an onrushing Roldan down the left flank. Roldan provided a cross to the feet of Will Bruin, who converted for his second goal in as many weeks to put his side into a 2-0 lead heading into the halftime intermission.
Minnesota got one back in the 63rd minute, as new Designated Player signing Darwin Quintero provided service to substitute Christian Ramirez, with the attacker heading the ball past Stefan Frei to make the scoreline 2-1.
Despite United's goal, Seattle put the game out of reach deep into stoppage time, as substitute Jordy Delem killed the match with a third and final strike for the home side. Fellow sub Clint Dempsey played a weighted through ball to Delem, allowing the Martinique international to bury his shot at Shuttleworth's far post for his first MLS goal.
The Rave Green return to action in another nationally televised contest next Sunday, this time in a marquee matchup at Los Angeles Football Club, as the expansion side opens state-of-the-art Banc of California Stadium. The contest is scheduled for April 29 at 6:00 p.m. PT, with FOX Sports 1 broadcasting the action throughout the country. Seattle last faced LAFC on March 4 at CenturyLink Field, resulting in a 1-0 win for the visitors in their first match as a Major League Soccer club.
With the win, Sounders FC earns its first victory of the 2018 MLS season, bringing its record to 1-3-1. Brian Schmetzer's side now has a two-match unbeaten streak (1-0-1) following last weekend's road draw at Sporting Kansas City.
Sounders FC is now 3-0-0 against Minnesota United FC in MLS play, with a 9-2 goal advantage.
Gustav Svensson's goal in the 23rd minute marked his second regular-season strike with Sounders FC since joining the Rave Green prior to last season. The Swedish international also scored last season in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs against the Houston Dynamo on November 21, 2017.
Will Bruin scored his second goal in as many games when he found the back of the net in the 25th minute. The eighth-year MLS veteran now has 63 career goals, tied with Dominic Oduro for seventh among active MLS players.
Cristian Roldan provided the service on both of Seattle's first-half strikes for his first two assists of the 2018 season. The fourth-year pro now has 11 goals and nine assists in 93 career regular-season appearances.
Jordy Delem scored his first MLS goal with a late strike on an assist from Clint Dempsey. Delem entered the match as substitute in the second minute of second-half stoppage time for Will Bruin, then combined with Dempsey on a counterattack to find the net for his first goal in 16 career MLS appearances.
Osvaldo Alonso made his first start of the 2018 campaign, logging 75 minutes in central midfield alongside Gustav Svensson. Sounders FC's all-time leader in games played, starts and minutes made his season debut last weekend with a substitute appearance at Sporting Kansas City.
Kelvin Leerdam and Clint Dempsey each returned to the pitch on Sunday after serving one and two-match red card suspensions, respectively. Leerdam slotted in at his normal right fullback spot, while Dempsey came off the bench to log 30 minutes and record an assist on Delem's goal in second-half stoppage time. It marked the first assist of the season for Dempsey and 42nd career assist in regular-season play, tied for 10th among active players.
With the win, Brian Schmetzer is now 22-3-7 at home in MLS play (regular season and postseason) since taking over in July of 2016.MATCH SUMMARY
Seattle Sounders FC 3 - Minnesota United FC 1
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistants: Kyle Atkins, Apolinar Mariscal
Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica
VAR: Caleb Mendez
Weather: 55 degrees and partly cloudy
SEA - Gustav Svensson (Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso) 23'
SEA - Will Bruin (Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro) 25'
MIN - Christian Ramirez (Darwin Quintero, Sam Nicholson) 66'
SEA - Jordy Delem (Clint Dempsey) 90'+5'
SEA - Nouhou (caution) 58'
SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (caution) 87'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Nouhou; Gustav Svensson, Osvaldo Alonso - captain (Magnus Wolff Eikrem 75'), Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan (Clint Dempsey 60'); Will Bruin (Jordy Delem 90'+2')
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Victor Rodriguez, Jordan McCrary, Handwalla Bwana
Total shots: 16 (C. Roldan / Dempsey, 3)
Shots on goal: 7 (C. Roldan / Bruin, 2)
Fouls: 12 (A. Roldan, 4)
Offside: 2 (Nouhou / Lodeiro, 1)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 5)
Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)
Minnesota United FC - Bobby Shuttleworth; Carter Manley, Jorome Thiesson, Francisco Calvo - captain, Michael Boxall; Ibson, Miguel Ibarra (Mason Toye 84'), Ethan Finlay (Sam Nicholson HT), Rasmus Schuller; Abu Danladi (Christian Ramirez 52'), Darwin Quintero
Substitutes not used: Matthew Lampson, Brent Kallman, Harrison Heath, Collin Martin
Total shots: 12 (Quintero, 5)
Shots on goal: 2 (Ibarra / Ramirez, 1)
Fouls: 9 (Schuller, 4)
Offside: 3 (Three players, 1)
Corner-kicks: 1 (Quintero, 1)
Saves: 4 (Shuttleworth, 4)
Images from this story
Seattle Sounders FC captain Osvaldo Alonso made his return on Sunday vs. Minnesota United FC
(Mike Fiechtner / Seattle Sounders FC)
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Major League Soccer Stories from April 22, 2018
- Timbers Notch First Clean Sheet in 2018 with 3-0 Win over New York City FC - Portland Timbers
- Seattle Earns First Win of the Season in 3-1 Romp over Minnesota United FC at CenturyLink Field - Seattle Sounders FC
- MNUFC Can't Overcome Early Goals, Falls 3-1 to Seattle - Minnesota United FC
- Atlanta United Defeats LA Galaxy, Extends Unbeaten Streak to Six - Atlanta United FC
- Real Salt Lake Explodes for 3-0 Win over Colorado Rapids - Real Salt Lake
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