Minnesota United falls 1-0 to Seattle Sounders

Minnesota United staved off the high drama they have recently gotten entangled with in Seattle, but on Saturday, the Loons still fell to the Sounders 1-0 at Lumen Field.

United’s last two losses in Washington state — a 4-0 thumping in the 2021 season opener and the 3-2 heartbreak in the 2020 Western Conference final — hurt more than this defeat. Yet this one represented another mundane storylines.

Minnesota is now 0-6 in Seattle in MLS, and their inability to get even a point on the road means the gap grows between the Loons, the first-place Sounders and the four other teams above them in the standings.

“It’s never an easy place to come play,” Wil Trapp said. “I felt like there were moments for us to create a little bit more. I don’t think we were quite dangerous enough given the amount of possession we had. That is on us to be more dangerous.”

If losing is Seattle is routine, so is Minnesota’s lack of goal-scoring this season. They were shutout for the third time in the last five games.

Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer and assistant coach Preki “just said we were probably the better team, certainly second half,” Loons manger Adrian Heath said. “But obviously we didn’t work their goalkeeper enough considering the amount of play we had certainly in the middle of the field and their half.”

The Sounders were on the front foot early and took a 1-0 lead when MLS All-Star Joao Paulo’s shot went under Ozzie Alonso and past Michael Boxall and Tyler Miller into the 22nd minute. “It’s really just about getting pressure on the ball and trying to make a play on the ball,” Trapp said. “It goes through Ozzie’s legs. Tyler maybe thinks it’s going to wide and it’s one of those plays it’s hard to read because it’s coming through bodies and traffic.”

Minnesota welcomed left winger Franco Fragapane back to the lineup for the first time since July 18, and he played 66 minutes, with Heath saying Fragapane might have played 10-15 minutes longer than they wanted him too as they were scratching for a goal.

The Loons remained without key attackers Emanuel Reynoso and leading scorer Robin Lod, but they could return to play Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. The Loons will lose two other players for the road tilt, Ozzie Alonso and Chase Gasper, who were both booked with yellow cards on Saturday and due to card accumulation will be forced to miss the Sporting match.

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