Loons continue to seek any positivity at Seattle Sounders
Minnesota United, meanwhile, has yet to qualify for the regional tournament for clubs from North America, Central America and the Caribbean
The Seattle Sounders solidified their status as Major League Soccer’s top-class organization when they became the league’s first club to win the CONCACAF Champions League in late April.
Minnesota United, meanwhile, has yet to qualify for the regional tournament for clubs from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The Loons have never even earned a point in an MLS game in Seattle.
Minnesota is 0-7-0 in all league games at Lumen Field since 2017, including, infamously, the 3-2 collapse in the Western Conference final in 2020. They will get another crack at 3 p.m. Sunday, a nationally televised game on ESPN.
“It’s one of the places where if you don’t go play really well and finish off your chances, it’s tough to get a result,” MNUFC center back Michael Boxall said Thursday.
Boxall brought up the 2021 season opener when he felt the Loons played well before Joao Paulo’s golazo in the 49th minute. It all unraveled in a 4-0 loss.
“They score a bomb out of nowhere and then a few mental lapses and the game is done,” Boxall said. “It’s not good enough to do it for 60 minutes; you need to show up for the full 90.”
Minnesota (4-4-2) is 1-2-1 on the road this season and needs a result to stay above the playoff line in the Western Conference.
While Seattle hosted a trophy over Mexican club Pumas in the CONCACAF Champions League final, the Sounders (2-5-1) currently are mired in 13th place in the West, partly due to their focus on winning the regional championship.
The Loons won’t have to worry about Paulo contributing another long-range missile — something he’s often done in the matchup. He tore his ACL in the CCL final.
Boxall mentioned capitalizing on scoring chances, which has been a struggle for the Loons. While they scored twice in the U.S. Open Cup victory over Colorado this week, they have been shut out in two straight league games.
One encouraging sign for manager Adrian Heath is attacker Franco Fragapane showing signs of improving in the cup game. He assisted on Abu Danladi’s goal in Wednesday’s first half, but missed a good scoring chance in Thursday’s second half.
“I thought he looked a bit more like his old self,’ Heath said. “He got himself in good spots, he got in the box, and that’s when he’s at his best, when he can create.”
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