First Touches_MINvSEA_04.02.2022

Minnesota United returns after the International Break to host a classic matchup, one that has not particularly favored the Loons over the years. In this week's First Touches, we dive into a few trends, stats, and interesting nuggets surrounding this Western Conference rivalry. 

Stats and Notes

  • The aggregate score in games between Minnesota and Seattle (regular season and postseason combine) is 21-7 in favor of Seattle.
  • However, Minnesota has scored points in each of their last two matchups with the Sounders at Allianz Field. They drew in May 2019 and won in July 2021
  • Of Minnesota’s seven goals scored in the matchup, five have been scored between the 16th and 30th minute of games.
  • Of Seattle’s 21 goals scored in the matchup, a whopping 12 have been scored in the last half hour of games, including seven after the 76th minute. 
  • Seattle has just four points through their first four MLS fixtures; that’s their worst start to a season since 2018 (0-1-3, 1 pt). The Sounders have notched fewer than four points in their first four games in just three seasons since they joined MLS in 2009 (2013, 2016, 2018). 
  • Both Seattle and Minnesota have scored just four goals through their first four games; only four teams in all of MLS have scored fewer (Houston, Nashville, Vancouver and Miami).
  • Conversely, MNUFC have allowed a mere two goals through their first four contests, tied for second best in MLS (alongside Philadelphia and LAFC, and trailing only Chicago, who have allowed 1 score thus far). 
  • The Sounders have committed just 36 fouls all season, good for second fewest in the league.
  • Minnesota is one of the four best teams in the league at not being caught offside; the Loons have been whistled for offside a paltry three times so far.
  • Seattle has the fourth-smallest number of passes in the opponent’s half through four games in MLS action (521). For comparison, Minnesota is 18th in the league with 666, and Kansas City leads the league with almost 1,100 such passes.
  • Luis Amarilla is the only player for either team with multiple goals on the season, with Seattle’s four goals spread across four different players (Xavier Arreaga, Will Bruin, Fredy Montero, Jordan Morris).
  • Against San Jose, Wil Trapp had a 92.3% pass completion rate — the only Minnesota starter to break the 90% mark.
  • Luis Amarilla accumulated 1.01 xG in the San Jose match, more than all other Minnesota players combined.
  • Seattle has trailed in xG at the end of all four of their matches played so far this season. 
  • Against Austin, not only did João Paulo have the assist on the Sounders one goal, but he also had more tackles won (3) than the entire rest of his team combined.

Minnesota Connections

  • The first connection notes an absence rather than a presence. This will only be the second time that Seattle and Minnesota have met in a match in which Ozzie Alonso will not play. Alonso missed the second matchup between the two teams in 2017, but played for one team or the other in every other matchup, captaining both sides on multiple occasions. 
  • Sounders midfielder Kelyn Rowe and MNUFC Swiss-Army Knife, Hassani Dotson, both hail from Federal Way, Washington.
  • MNUFC Technical Director, Mark Watson, played for Seattle during its USL days, donning the Sounders green in 1997.
  • Tyler Miller was in the Sounders FC organization from 2015 through 2017. He started his tenure with Sounders FC 2 and backed up Stefan Frei on the first team in his final two seasons with the club. You can hear Miller discuss his time in Seattle, along with many other interesting topics, in this recent episode of Sound of the Loons.
  • In 2004, Seattle Sounders Assistant Coach Freddy Juarez played on the Minnesota Thunder with MNUFC Director of Player Personnel Amos Magee. In 2006, he was on the Thunder’s roster alongside Brian Kallman, the brother of current Loon Brent Kallman.

MATCH INFO

Minnesota United FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota
04.02.22 | MLS Week No. 5 | MLS Game No. 5
7:00 pm CT (Bally Sports North EXTRA, The CW Twin Cities, SKOR North)