Minnesota United is back in Cascadia for the second weekend in a row, and the matchup doesn’t seem to be any easier. After last week’s 3-2 loss to the Portland Timbers, the Loons will face the Seattle Sounders on national television.
To learn a little bit more about what to expect from the match, we caught up with Sounder at Heart’s founder and managing editor, Dave Clark.
EPL: Seattle has struggled so far in the 2018 season. Is there any concern about early performances?
SaH: There’s definitely concern. This is a team that’s earned high standards, and right now they aren’t reaching their high standards. Maybe we’re spoiled, earning 22% of major trophies over a nine year run, but that creates certain expectations. At this time the Seattle Sounders are failing to meet those expectations. There are many reasons -- injuries, suspensions, lack of signings. The reasons may help mollify our reasonable mind, but soccer is a game of passion and our heart just sees a disappointing 2-5-1 -10. It’s pretty bad. There is still reason to hope as the injuries and suspensions are fading away.
EPL: The Sounders’ support seems to be some of the strongest in MLS, but just how popular is soccer in Seattle?
SaH: While the support here is large, it’s still capable of growing. There are demographics that still are relatively untapped, empty seats for them to fill, and a combination TV/streaming deal for the youth market as well as broadcasts on Univision-Seattle. What we have on gamedays is great. What we have online is great. When we look at what NHL Seattle just did Sounders fans can know that there is still room for more sports here, more soccer here and some day those tarps will be gone.
EPL: What’s the perception of Minnesota United among Seattle fans?
SaH: I don’t know that there’s a strong impression of the Loons. There’s a bit of sorrow that the launch has struggled on the field, respect for the fans that keep showing up in miserable weather in a borrowed stadium, and hope that it can all change with the new stadium. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bit of jealousy about Darwin Quintero’s signing, as those same people forget that’s the first ever DP United’s signed. With only a single meeting so far and the struggling team there just aren’t strong feelings yet.
Two pieces of important info
Kickoff Time: 3p CT/1p local
How to Watch: ESPN, ESPN+, MLS Live
One important quote
“When [Darwin Quintero] starts to find pockets on the right-hand side then I can pull myself a little bit wider, and I can start making runs from the outside-in –– it can be a really dangerous combination. I had a combination like that years back with [Federico] Higuaín in Columbus. It worked out really well with me. It has all the pieces for something very similar.” -Ethan Finlay