Seattle Sounders FC (8-1-5, 29 points) suffered its first loss of 2021 on Sunday afternoon, a 1-0 defeat to Minnesota United FC (5-5-3, 18 points) at Allianz Field. Following today’s result, Seattle’s unbeaten streak to begin the 2021 season ends at 13 matches (an MLS record). Despite the loss, Seattle remains atop both the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference standings, two points over New England in the former category and three points ahead of Sporting Kansas City in the West.
Minnesota bagged its late winner in the 81st minute, with Niko Hansen cutting down the right wing and playing a cross to Robin Lod at Seattle’s far post. The Finnish midfielder converted a left-footed attempt, enough for the home side to edge the Rave Green to the win.
Sunday’s match in Minnesota marked the first contest in a stretch of three games in eight days for Seattle, as the club travels to face Austin FC on Thursday, July 22 (6:30 p.m. PT / ESPN, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) before hosting Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, July 25 (6:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
• With the loss, Seattle’s unbeaten streak to begin the 2021 season ends at 13 matches. Coming into today’s contest, Seattle was 8-0-5 on the year, setting a league record for the best start to a season (four clubs had previously reached the 12-match unbeaten mark to begin a season).
• The Rave Green last lost in the regular season on November 1, 2020, a 1-0 defeat at Colorado.
• Despite the club’s first loss of the campaign, Sounders FC remains in first place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference with 29 points, three points ahead of Sporting Kansas City. The Rave Green and Sporting face-off in a week’s time at Lumen Field on Sunday, July 25. Seattle also maintains the lead in the Supporters’ Shield race, two points ahead of New England for the best record in MLS.
• Today’s loss is Seattle’s first defeat in MLS to Minnesota United FC. Prior to today, Sounders FC was unbeaten in eight all-time meetings (7-0-1) against Minnesota (including postseason play). The Rave Green opened the 2021 season with a 4-0 win over the Loons at Lumen Field on April 16.
• Starting goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland made his ninth start of 2021. Since Stefan Frei departed the lineup due to injury, Cleveland is 4-1-4 in goal for Seattle. Sounders FC is tied for first in MLS with six shutouts, level with Philadelphia.
• Sounders FC signed Tacoma Defiance players Samuel Adeniran and Obed Vargas to a Short-Term Agreements, making them available on the bench for today’s match at Minnesota. International callups and injuries to players on Seattle's roster made the club eligible for Extreme Hardship. As a result, the Rave Green signed the two players from the club's USL Championship affiliate to short-term loans for Sunday’s match. Adeniran made his MLS debut with an 85th-minute substitute appearance.
• Kelyn Rowe made his first start of the season at right wingback, replacing Alex Roldan, who is away on international duty with El Salvador. Rowe has appeared in every game this season, with 10 total starts.
• Receiving a yellow card in the 64th minute, centerback Xavier Arreaga earned his fifth caution of the season. With that latest booking, the Ecuador National Team player is set to miss Seattle’s next match at Austin FC on July 22 due to yellow card accumulation.
Seattle Sounders FC 0 – Minnesota United FC 1
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Venue: Allianz Field
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistants: Eric Weisbrod, Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Matthew Thompson
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.
Weather: 86 degrees and sunny
MIN – Robin Lod (Niko Hansen, Emanuel Reynoso) 81’
SEA – Danny Leyva (caution) 13’
SEA – Yeimar (caution) 18’
MIN – Emanuel Reynoso (caution) 64’
SEA – Xavier Arreaga (caution) 64’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Cleveland; Xavier Arreaga, Brad Smith (Josh Atencio 69’), Yeimar, Abdoulaye Cissoko (Ethan Dobbelaere 86’); João Paulo, Kelyn Rowe, Danny Leyva (Sam Adeniran 85’), Jimmy Medranda; Fredy Montero, Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Spencer Richey, Reed Baker-Whiting, Andrew Thomas, Obed Vargas
Total shots: 9
Shots on goal: 4
Minnesota United FC – Tyler Miller; Bakaye Dibassy, Brent Kallman, Chase Gasper; Franco Fragapane (Ethan Finlay 86’), Emanuel Reynoso (Osvaldo Alonso 86’), Robin Lod, Wil Trapp, DJ Taylor, Hassani Dotson; Adrien Hunou (Niko Hansen 74’)
Substitutes not used: Adrian Zendejas, Jacori Hayes, Jan Gregus, Juan Agudelo, Jukka Raitala, Justin McMaster
Total shots: 11
Shots on goal: 2