The Seattle Sounders are visiting Minnesota United on Sunday in their second meeting of the season.
Here is everything you need to know, presented by Ticketmaster:
WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is at 11 a.m. PT at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minn.
WHERE TO WATCH: The match will be televised on ESPN.
WHERE TO LISTEN: The match will air on 950 KJR AM and El Rey 1360 AM. 2021
RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Seattle: 8-0-5 (29 points, 1st West), Minnesota: 4-5-3 (15 points, 7th West)
FORM GUIDE (most recent first): Seattle: WDDWW, Minnesota: LDWWD
MISSING PIECES: The Sounders will be shorthanded again this weekend with Alex Roldan, who scored in his international debut for El Salvador on Sunday, joining his brother, Cristian, in the Concacaf Gold Cup. The statuses of Shane O’Neill (left hip flexor strain) and Nouhou (left adductor strain) are still TBD, while Nicolás Lodeiro, Stefan Frei and Will Bruin continue to be sidelined with serious injuries.
NEXT MAN UP: Despite all the adversity of injuries and international absences, the Sounders set an MLS record by starting a season unbeaten in 13 consecutive matches. The club’s “next man up” mentality continues to bear fruit and will need to be prevalent in Minnesota on Sunday.
MIDFIELD MAESTRO: A crucial reason why the Sounders haven’t struggled as much without Lodeiro is because of the dominant two-way effort of João Paulo in central midfield. The Brazilian has operated in the roles of deep-lying playmaker and defensive destroyer to great aplomb all season, and he was named to the Week 12 MLS Team of the Week for his play against the Houston Dynamo in which he had game-highs of touches (106), total passes (80) and defensive recoveries (15).
RIGHT BACK ROWE: Fresh off scoring his first Sounders goal last week, midfielder Kelyn Rowe will likely slot into Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s right wingback role where the younger Roldan has started all season. This positional switch means Homegrowns Josh Atencio and Danny Levya could start together in midfield for the first time alongside João Paulo.
RIGHTING THE SHIP: After Minnesota started the season 0-4-0, the Loons have only lost once in their last eight matches. They rattled off a seven-match unbeaten streak, winning four and drawing three, before falling 2-0 at the Colorado Rapids last Wednesday.
MILLER TIME: Seattle will face former goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who is in his second year in Minnesota after leaving LAFC after the 2019 season. Miller began the season on the bench, but he’s started each of the last eight matches that have coincided with the Loons’ great run of form.
HUNOU SIGNINGS: Minnesota will be buoyed by the Designated Player signing of 27-year-old French attacker Adrien Hunou. He has two goals in six starts since joining the Loons from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais in late April. Hunou will be tasked with getting on the receiving end of playmaker Emanuel Reynoso’s work in midfield, as well as new 28-year-old winger Franco Fragapane, who already has two goals and three assists in five matches since joining from Argentina Primera División side Talleres in May.
Fellow new signing Ramón Ábila, who made his MLS debut as a substitute against the Sounders in April, will miss Sunday’s fixture because of a red card suspension.