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Storylines is back and looking for a hot cup of redemption. The Loons come into Saturday’s matchup with the Sounders on a two-game skid that hasn’t been for lack of effort, with hard-fought showings against Chicago and Orlando City going for naught after late goals left the boys stunned and without any points towards upping their standing in the Western Conference. As Coach Adrian Heath would go on to say at training this week, “The first thing is the disappointment of the result, not the disappointment of the performance.”

The follow up to this tough stretch? Taking on a Seattle squad that’s looked quite legit throughout the start of their season, save for last week’s 4-1 loss at the hands of rival Portland Timbers. And, just for good measure, it’s at Lumen Field, a notoriously tough environment for visitors. As Coach Heath would reiterate, the Loons are fully aware of the challenge that awaits them. “They’re a very, very good team. Really well coached and great atmosphere that they generate to play in. It’s not just difficult for Minnesota, trust me, it’s difficult for most teams when they go there.”

So yeah…no pressure, fellas. Right?

If the Black and Blue plan to right the ship, they’ll have to contend with a roster of talent and the various ways the Sounders can hurt an opponent. On the talent end of things, forward Jordan Morris is currently leading MLS in goals scored with eight on the season. Obviously, having such a dangerous scoring threat on the pitch would be a no-brainer of a priority for the Loons defensive unit. That is, if Morris is on the pitch for Saturday night, having played this past Wednesday in the US Men’s National Team’s 1-1 draw in a friendly with old pals Mexico. But, the Loons certainly won’t bank on that coming to fruition since they’ll need more than a lineup change to best the Sounders.

As the Gaff assessed, “They’ve got a bit of everything. I think the surface helps them, they’re terrific on that surface. Their weight of pass of knowing when to play it firm, knowing when to play slow is always top-notch.”

Aside from Morris, striker Raúl Ruidíaz has begun to heat up since returning to the Seattle lineup after starting the season injured. As one of the league’s best No. 9’s, and having registered four goals on the Loons for his career, the Peruvian will most definitely be a situation for Michael Boxall and Micky Tapias to monitor.

Beyond individuals like Morris, Ruidíaz and star midfielder Cristian Roldan to contend with, the Loons will need to show a high level of mental toughness to match the moment. Cap Trapp said as much when discussing the mindset of the Loons going into this match up.

“Ultimately, it’s our mentality. The mentality to go there and understand it will be a game which we'll have to weather the storm, at times. And not being upset, or worried, or anxious about that and knowing that we have the quality and the capability to win and score goals. Trust our process, trust the group and understand that it’s going to be a 95-minute game.”

For the sake of the Loons faithful, let’s hope the boys can indeed trust the process on Saturday night and turn the tides back towards the win column.


Seattle Sounders FC vs. Minnesota United FC

Lumen Field | Seattle, Washington

04.22.2023 | MLS Game #8

9:30 p.m. CT (AppleTV - Free)