The Seattle Sounders are taking on Minnesota United on Saturday at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minn. (5 p.m. PT; FOX 13, Prime Video, Univision Seattle, iHeart Radio, El Rey 1360 AM). Here are three matchups to watch:
Will Bruin/Fredy Montero vs. Brent Kallman
Although Raúl Ruidíaz traveled to Minnesota, the Sounders’ Designated Player No. 9 has still yet to play an MLS minute this year while dealing with a hamstring injury. It seems likely he’ll be available, but it’ll probably be a toss-up for Head Coach Brian Schmetzer on whether Bruin or Montero get the start. Montero has been the go-to man for the Sounders in Concacaf Champions League. Bruin, meanwhile, made his first start of the season in their last match against Austin FC after recovering from an injury himself, and he put Kallman in a blender last year.
João Paulo vs. Emanuel Reynoso
It’s a heavyweight battle in central midfield as the 2021 MLS Best XI selection João Paulo will be tasked with slowing down Reynoso, one of the most talented attacking playmakers in the league. The Loons run everything through their Argentine virtuoso, and it’ll be up to JP to ensure that Reynoso doesn’t have time or space to receive balls and space and pick out runners in behind. How well the Brazilian can do that will go a long way in determining whether the Sounders can keep a clean sheet and try and earn three points on the road.
Jackson Ragen vs. Luis Amarilla
This will be another tough test for the young Sounders center back. Xavier Arreaga and Nouhou are both returning from international duty, and Yeimar is recovering from a high ankle sprain. The Sounders Academy product has done incredibly well so far, playing well beyond his years and MLS inexperience. Ragen will need to help organize the defense and know where Amarilla is at all times, as the Paraguayan international has struck twice so far in four matches to open the campaign.