SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. MINNESOTA UNITED FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. It’s time for another Sunday matinee at Royal Brougham Park. The vict- I mean, our honoured guests are Minnesota United FC, making the trip from Oak Street to face our Sounders FC in the Evergreen.

It’s been a tough row to hoe this season but a draw in our last match, and the two goals we scored to secure it, bring hope to the weary and hopefully imagination to the team. Not only did we get an away point in Kansas City, which is difficult enough to manage, we actually looked like we were playing football at times, and that’s a nice change from the insanity that preceded this.

So we move forward from the bad, and look forward to better times. Gather your Green Family where ye may, at home, at the pub, or hopefully at the ground in Seattle. Eyes bright, voices loud. It’s time to be heard and remind the rest of the league who we are.

Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY.

dempsey
Deuce leads all Seattle goal scorers in our all-time series against Minnesota United having potted three against the Loons in the two league matches we’ve faced them in. With this praise given, do mind your temper, Clint. It’s bloody difficult to score goals from the press box.

The Good News
We’re looking like a team again with our lads fighting for each other on the pitch, and also doing a better job of executing the football they play upon it. We’re managing to hold the football for more than three seconds at a time, and passing in combination in the centre of the park. These are all good signs.

Suspensions are over for Dempsey and Leerdam. It should make it possible to field the closest thing we’ve had to our best eleven players since the league started in early March. If our previously sent-off players stay out of the referee’s book today, perhaps there’ll be some treacle tart for you after the match.

MUFC start striker, Christian Ramirez is apparently having trouble scoring goals having managed none in his four appearances this season. Let’s hope our defence make his misery in front of goal continue.

We’ve never lost to MUFC. I know we’ve only played them twice in the league, but facts are facts.

Dempsey scored three goals against MUFC in the two matches we played them last season. Here’s hoping for more of the same.

The Bad News
Although MUFC are 2-0-4 and 16th in the league, we still sit at the bottom of the 23-team MLS table having earned a point from four matches.

The two goals we scored last week in the Midwest, are the only goals we’ve scored in the league this season.

MUFC have added Luiz Fernando from Fluminense FC and Darwin Quintero from Club America. Luiz Fernando is a 22-year-old holding midfielder and Quintero, a reliable goal scorer who is a hardened veteran of the Mexican Liga MX.

Although we have plenty of talent in the Sounders’ team, consistency and injuries have been persistent problems. The question in this context is: “Will inconsistency cost us another chance at three points in the league.”

Know Thine Enemy
(based on MUFC lineup on 14 April at Portland)

Goalkeeper –
Lampson, 28, is the product of Columbus Crew youth football. Lampson has played in 57 career MLS matches, for Columbus, Chicago, and Minnesota, whom he signed for just this season. He has played every match between the sticks for the Loons this season.

Defence –
Burch, 33, saw limited duty in his first season with Minnesota United, playing in only 15 matches. This season has seen Burch in four out of Minnesota’s six matches. Burch has played 232 times in his 13-year MLS career.

Calvo, 25, is in his second season with Minnesota United. Calvo has played 32 matches for the Loons since he signed in 2017. A native of Costa Rica, Calvo has played over 70 times for Herediano, and over 60 times for Saprissa. Calvo has 25 caps and three goals for Costa Rica.

Boxall, 29, is a New Zealand national who signed with Minnesota United in 2017. Boxall has played 17 times over two seasons for the Loons and had previously played for Vancouver Whitecaps giving him a total of 36 career MLS matches. Before signing with the Whitecaps in 2011, he had played for clubs in the New Zealand Championship, and also for a South African club. Boxall has 28 caps for New Zealand.

Thiesson, 30, is a Swiss national who played 98 times for Luzern before signing with Minnesota United in 2017. He played all but one of Minnesota’s matches last season and played in four league matches this season for a total of 37 matches played in MLS.

Midfield –
Ibson, 34, is a Brazilian national produced by Flamengo. Ibson’s career represents a world tour of football, seeing him play at Flamengo, Porto, Spartak Moscow, Santos, Corinthians, and Bologna before signing with Minnesota United during their NASL days. Ibson has continued with his club since their ascension into the MLS. He played in almost every match for the Loons last season and has played 37 times in the team over his two MLS seasons.

Schuller, 26, is a Finnish national who signed with Minnesota in 2017. Schuller has played 12 matches over two seasons with the Loons. Previously, Schuller had played with HJK Helsinki (88 matches/10 goals), and BK Hacken (18/1) before moving to Oak Street last year. Schuller has 14 caps for Finland.

Ibarra, 28, signed for Minnesota United in their inaugural MLS season of 2017. Ibarra has played 35 times for his club over two seasons. Ibarra had played 90 times, scoring 17 goals for the NASL iteration of Minnesota United before his move to the MLS side. Ibarra has three United States caps.

Quintero, 30, is a Columbian national and veteran of the Mexican Liga MX. Before signing with the Loons this year, Quintero played 107 times for Club America, scoring 17 goals, and played 187 times for Santos Laguna, scoring 50 goals. Quintero has 14 caps and one goal for Colombia.

Finlay, 27, signed with Minnesota in 2017 after having played 150 times for Columbus Crew, scoring 30 goals. Since his arrival in Minnesota, Finlay has played 17 times over two seasons. Finlay has started every match he’s played for Minnesota since his arrival. Finlay’s career MLS totals are 167 matches and 35 goals. A native of Duluth, MN, Finlay has earned three United States caps.

Forward –
Ramirez, 27, was a mainstay with Minnesota during their NASL days (90 matches/51 goals) and has continued with their MLS iteration (36 matches/14 goals). He’s had some trouble scoring this season, failing to find the net in any of his six appearances.

Familiar Faces
Between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, defender Marc Burch played 49 times for the Sounders.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Eikrem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Dempsey.

Minnesota United from: Lampson, Shuttleworth, Kapp, Boxall, Burch, Calvo, Gomez, Kallman, Manley, Omsberg, Eko’o, Thiesson, Ibson, Finlay, Heath, Ibarra, Martin, Maximiano, Nicholson, Pangop, Quintero, Schuller, Venegas, Warner, Danladi, Ramirez, Toye.

Injury List
(as reported by MLS.com)
Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Kim (calf).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Francis (hamstring), Shipp (ankle), Rodriguez (knee).

Minnesota United –
OUT: Cronin (neck), Molino (ACL), Mears (leg).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Burch (knee).

Discipline
none suspended from either side.

Fun Fact
Today’s match will be played with Adidas Parley Kits. They are made from plastic pollutants that are reclaimed from beaches before they can reach the ocean. It’s refreshing to see Adidas make strides in sustainable manufacturing, even drawing praise from Greenpeace for “taking rainforest conservation seriously” (as reported by Huffington Post). What a change from their past. I hope that Adidas continue to grow as a sustainable company with fair labour practices to match, setting a shining example that might be followed by other corporations.

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