Minnesota United opened the 2021 Major League Soccer season last night at Lumen Field in Seattle against the hosting Seattle Sounders. With fans back at the Sounders home stadium for the first time since the pandemic began, the match being a rematch of the Western Conference final from 2020, and being shown nationally on FS1 it looked from the outside like a great way to open the season.
And the first half started as such but the seconded half saw a total collapse by MNUFC and they would take an embarrassing 4-0 loss to begin the season.
The Starting XI wasn’t anything that was to be unexpected. Lod being up top and Alonso not starting we’re maybe the only two exceptions to that, however Lod has played up top before.
anddddddd here it is.— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 17, 2021
tonight’s XI in Seattle. pic.twitter.com/8DT7jhmaOL
The match started with Minnesota dominating play and holding possession for a large majority of the first 25 minutes of play. However all that progress nearly came to a screeching halt when Wil Trapp was called for a handball at the edge of the 18 yard box in the 27th minute.
Seattle’s Raúl Ruidíaz would take the penalty against the Loons own Dayne St. Clair. DSC would make the save on the 29th minute penalty to keep the match at an even 0-0.
St. Clair the Patron Saint of pic.twitter.com/4rUYJFmIpZ— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 17, 2021
It was at this point where the match started to go from being dominated by Minnesota to being much more evenly matched. However at the half-time mark MNUFC looked to have Seattle on the ropes and possibly even going towards the Loons first ever win over the Sounders.
#MNUFC and #Sounders knotted up at ni;-nil after the first 45 minutes.#MLSIsBack #SEAvMIN pic.twitter.com/dcQDGCBSFp— E Pluribus Loonum (@EPluribusLoonum) April 17, 2021
Unfortunately for Minnesota United they wouldn’t be able to hold Seattle on the ropes much longer. Just 3:42 into the second half the Sounders João Paulo would send a near 30 yard shot rocketing into the back of the net to break the nil-nil deadlock.
CERTIFIED. BANGER.— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) April 17, 2021
João Paulo gives us the lead! #SoundersMatchday | #SEAvMIN pic.twitter.com/vkMiFSGaFc
After holding off Seattle and once again dominating the possession numbers for 20 minutes the Sounders would strike again in the 70th minute. This time it would be the same man who’s penalty was saved in the first half, Raúl Ruidíaz scoring the second goal for the hosts.
RAÚL RUIDÍAZ GOAL NUMBER 1: pic.twitter.com/ORtVgPwzN4— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) April 17, 2021
Adrian Heath would use his first sub early (for Heath) in the 65th minute to bring Ramón Ábila “Wanchope” on for his MNUFC debut to replace Ethan Finlay.
However after one goal Ruidíaz wouldn’t stop there and just three minutes later would strike once again to secure a brace and a third goal for the hosting Sounders.
RAÚL RUIDÍAZ GOAL NUMBER 2: pic.twitter.com/N5mpfVQdrf— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) April 17, 2021
Heath would bring on two more subs in the 79th minute sending Ozzie Alonso and Justin McMaster on to replace Ján Greguš and Brent Kallman. Then two minutes later on the next stoppage Jukka Raitala would make his debut for the Loons when he replaced Hassani Dotson.
But sadly Seattle wasn’t done causing pain for the Loons as Fredy Montero capped off the night with an 86th minute goal to send everyone home with a 4-0 score.
What a moment. @_fredymontero scores in his return! #SoundersMatchday | #SEAvMIN pic.twitter.com/ButYjGy9nS— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) April 17, 2021
Post match Adrian Heath was quoted saying:
“Yeah. You know, football is a cruel game sometimes.”