The Seattle Sounders have had a couple of weeks to move past a puzzling defeat to their archrivals, the Portland Timbers, on Aug. 29 at home in Lumen Field. Now they look to remain at the top of the MLS Western Conference standings with Minnesota United coming to town Saturday afternoon.
The Sounders (12-4-6, 42 points) for some reason aren’t quite as good at home as they are away. They are winless in four straight home matches, with three losses. That ties the longest winless run at home in Seattle’s MLS history.
Against Minnesota, however, the Sounders are 7-1-1 all-time and have won all five of their meetings in the Emerald City. But the team is struggling to find offense at home, having failed to score three times in its last eight home games.
That seems odd, for a club loaded with MLS All-Stars and the league’s leading goal-scorer in Raul Ruidiaz (14).
“Our road form has been tremendous, and that gives me confidence along with the other two pieces of having young guys that are ready and being in a good position in the standings, and that mentality of that group, yeah, those three things make my job a little easier,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said.
Minnesota United (8-6-7, 31 points) are trying to hold on to a playoff spot that they would have locked up if the season ended prior to Saturday’s game. The Loons have lost just once in the past nine games and are led by Robin Lod with six goals.
Minnesota has scored only 24 goals in its 21 games played, but has allowed the same number. The club knows it is getting a Seattle team that has struggled at home at times.
“That means they’re going to be extremely hungry and have urgency on that side of the ball for them,” midfielder Ethan Finlay told the team website. “We might control some possession, we might control some of the tempo of the game but it’s what we do with it.
“Scoring the first goal on Saturday afternoon will be extremely important for how that game will go,” he added.
–Field Level Media