Seattle Saunders returned to action after an international break with a trip against Minnesota United. It wasn’t the most beautiful performance – at least not to the end – but the speakers made it worth it, winning 2-1. The win means Seattle is now undefeated in three MLS competitions and five in all competitions. In addition to the win, which was also the first time the Saunders have scored several goals since the 3-1 victory over San Jose Earthquakes on September 29, 2021, Seattle was able to start running Nick Ladeira and Raul Ruidias when both played 45 minutes.
In the end, the victory came mainly due to the excellent first half, which is emphasized by the proper voice of Joao Paul, who he hit the power of the jet engine and hit the bottom of the bar. Aside from the goal, Seattle dominated possession in the first 45 minutes and made 10 shots. The Sanders recorded a win with an own goal forced by a decisive run and a pass from Jordan Morris, which is more and more reminiscent of the dominant player we know he can be with every game.
Minnesota made a late push, especially stepping up the pressure in the last 10 minutes of the game. At first, they implemented a penalty, which Emanuel Reynos decisively completed, and then subjected Sanders to a wave of pressure, but Brian Schmetzer’s team withstood the attack and came out with a victory and the ability to give several players a minute and other players to rest. All of this they will need when they get back to that on Wednesday, taking on NYCFC in the first match of the CCL semifinals.
8 ‘- A sailing pass from the Saunders gives a couple of great touches in the penalty area from Will Bruin before playing the ball for Christian Roldan, but the shot is easy to catch.
14 ‘- Minnesota stormed the field after Saunders’ corner kick. Abu Dunladi struck from outside the penalty area, but he was repulsed and hit the crossbar.
24 ‘- João Paulo gets a dangerous free kick that will be sent by Nico Ladeiro. Christian Roldan gets in touch right in front of the GC, but he is blocked. Morris gets the following, but it’s high.
27 ‘- A little cunning of interaction frees Maurice behind the Minnesota defense. Morris deflects Will Bruin’s shot, which bounces off a nearby pole.
34 ‘- Joao Paulo pressed on Nico Ladeira, who passed from the left. Ladeiro meets the supply with a volley, which Dane St. Clair puts in the corner.
38 ‘- Hi Paul !!! The football floating to the left leads to a reverse pass from Ladeira for the swift JP, whose first shot kicks open the scoring! 1-0 sound
49 ‘- Jordan Morris doubles the advantage! His speed creates some tough decisions for Minnesota, and Maurice hits the ball destined for Raúl Ruidias, who fights CB. 2-0
81 ‘- Jackson Regen runs to knock the ball into the penalty area, but only gets a man. Emanuel Reynosa raises and lowers the penalty, sending Frey in the wrong direction. 2-1
85 ‘- Minnesota poses a certain danger with the corner kick, but the initial shot is blocked just in front of the goal line, and the next shot is kept by Frey and then cleared.
The boys returned (the boys returned to the city): It’s been a long time since Sounders could create a true full lineup or even a roster for a game day that included all the players that would make up the perfect XI. The team is not quite in place yet, but they are getting closer. Nika Ladeira started in the MLS for the first time this season and appeared in the regular season after coming on as a substitute in the second half against Nashville in the first match. Raúl Ruidias first appeared in MLS as a substitute at the break after also getting some injury problems. Approaching the huge series in the CCL vs. NYCFC, the Sounders look as strong as ever.
John M. Paul: Stories are best when they have developed and have time to go through the whole story. Joao Paulo has been great since he first wore the Saunders shirt, and last year he legally became MVP, but was unsuccessful as he and the team stumbled at the end of the season. In 2022, we do not take risks. JP was a monster against Minnesota, and it went far beyond his goal. He won 75% of 13 fights, had 2 key assists and completed 84.8% of assists. Oh, and he scored that great goal. He does everything on both sides of the ball, and has the same good arguments as anyone for the MVP.
Pulse build-up: The impetus is real or not, in sports it’s hard to say. Regardless of what that really means or not, it seems that the Saunders are building something, as they have now played five games unbeaten in all competitions, beating rivals 10-5 for this period. They embark on a pair of matches that will be among the most important in the MLS team era and should be full of confidence as they prepare to face the NYCFC in the CCL semifinals. They will use all the benefits they can get.
JP about his goal: “The best part is that I was lucky against Minnesota (3 of 6 career goals against them, all grand). I’m happy for that, but even more so that I can help us win.”
– Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) April 3, 2022
I will let OptaJack tell you.
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