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Seattle Sounders FC faced only their second defeat of the season last week when they were smashed 4-1 by Portland Timbers. That defeat also ended their short unbeaten streak, during which they held defending champions Los Angeles FC to a goalless draw and beat Sporting Kansas City, LA Galaxy, and league-leaders St. Louis City.
Five games into the 2023 MLS season, Minnesota United FC were undefeated after winning three and drawing two games. However, their unbeaten streak ended two weeks ago when they lost to Chicago Fire FC. Last week, the club failed to bounce back and suffered a second successive defeat, this time on home soil against Orlando City.
History books strongly favor the hosts and it would have been an easy prediction if Seattle Sounders FC would not have lost their last game. However, they did bounce back from defeat better than Minnesota United FC. Considering all aspects, Seattle Sounders FC are favorites to win this encounter.
The two sides have only met 12 times in the MLS and this is one of Seattle Sounders FC’s favorite fixtures in the league because they have won ten out of those 12 encounters. Minnesota United FC have only beaten Seattle Sounders FC once in their entire history and one game has ended in a draw.
Minnesota United FC’s only win came in the 2021 MLS season at the Allianz Field. The deadlock was intact till the 81st minute of the game when Niko Hansen assisted Robin Lod’s winning goal to end an eight-game winless run against Seattle Sounders FC. The only draw in this fixture came in the 2019 MLS season at the Allianz Field. The game ended 1-1.
After Minnesota United FC ended the long winless streak in 2021, the two sides have faced each other thrice and Seattle Sounders FC have won all three games, scoring a total of six goals and conceding just two in the process. Minnesota United FC have never won a single point on Seattle Sounders FC’s home ground in the MLS.
After the slip-up last weekend against Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders FC will be eager to bounce back with a win. The side will hope the defeat does not hamper their momentum to finish either nearest to first place or at the summit itself.
In any case, the hosts would not like to see a repeat of last season when they finished 11th in the Western Division, and that came shortly after winning the title in 2019 and then finishing as runners-up in 2020. Even in the 2021 league phase, they were the third-best team.
This season's performances so far have been impressive, especially against Sporting Kansas City and St. Louis City SC. Top scorer Jordan Morris has fired blanks in the last couple of games but on the bright side, Raul Ruidiaz has found the back of the net in both games
While scoring goals this season does not seem like an issue for Seattle Sounders FC, their defensive prowess has also been stellar so far. Before conceding four last week, they had conceded the joint-fewest goals in the league.
As things stand, Seattle Sounders FC still have a positive goal difference of nine. They have conceded seven goals and bizarrely, all of them have come on the road. Hence, Seattle Sounders FC are yet to concede a goal or lose at Lumen Field this season.
Eight games into the new season, Seattle Sounders FC have let in seven goals already. Unfortunately for the club, four of them came last week in just one game against Portland Timbers. However, a pattern has emerged when it comes to the hosts conceding.
Out of the seven goals Seattle Sounders FC have conceded, four have come in the final quarter of the match and two have come minutes after the hour mark. They have only conceded one goal before the hour mark and that shows how vulnerable their defense could towards the end.
Minnesota United FC were on a rampant run that started at the end of last season. Including the final two games of the 2022 MLS campaign, Minnesota United FC were unbeaten in seven games before that run was halted by Chicago Fire FC two weeks ago.
On this unbeaten run, an alternating win-draw pattern emerged as Minnesota United FC won three games and drew two. After Chicago Fire FC handed them their first defeat after a while, Minnesota went down at home against Orlando City.
The visitors will be a tough nut to crack for Seattle Sounders FC, but the dip in their form has come at the wrong time. Both sides will come into this fixture licking their wounds after last week’s outcomes, but the odds of Minnesota United FC coming out on top do not look great.
Delving deep, looking for positives in a match-up where the history, statistics, and odds are against them, Minnesota United FC will find one positive and that is their away form this season. They have taken more points on the road than they have in their own backyard.
Minnesota United FC have played three games at home and won none of them. Conversely, they have played four on the road and won three, losing a solitary game. This is currently the joint-best record in the MLS this season, and they share it with St. Louis City SC.
Minnesota United FC’s goals have come via Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Mender Garcia, and Luis Amarilla in the attack. Each of these players has scored twice. Kervin Arriaga and Miguel Tapias have scored one each.
Tapias also has a huge responsibility on his shoulders that he will share with his defensive partner Michael Boxall at the back. The center-back duo will have to replicate their stellar performance against St. Louis City SC if they intend to keep Golden Boot contender Jordan Morris quiet.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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