Oh what fun it is to see Seattle win away.
This is the final line in the Sounders’ version of “Jingle Bells,” with each player and coach slapping their locker to the joyous holiday tune and singing loudly in the visiting locker room after each road win.
However, some wins are more fun the others. And this one was about as fun as they come.
On Saturday evening, the Sounders marched into TCF Bank Stadium and stole three points right out of Minnesota United’s back pocket. The hosts were winning most of the match after a first-half goal from Darwin Quintero.
Unlucky to score in the opening 20 minutes, the Sounders suddenly found themselves in a hole. As the minutes ticked away, it looked the Sounders’ six-game unbeaten run was coming to an end.
One minute into second-half stoppage time, Nicolás Lodeiro stepped up on a penalty kick and buried the equalizer. Five minutes later, Raúl Ruidíaz flicked a stunning header to Will Bruin, who chipped Bobby Shuttleworth for the stunning game-winning goal.
Down 1-0 heading into stoppage time. Ended up as a 2-1 winner. Seattle never quits.
From across the field, Stefan Frei couldn’t believe what he saw when the Sounders took the lead.
“This is that feeling you play for,” Frei said after the match. “You can’t get this any other way. This feeling, this up-and-down roller coaster of emotion. And then the exhilarating finish and the joy. There’s just no other way of getting it than playing a team sport like this, having to stick together and go through adversity and come out on top.”
Despite coming into the match on a good run of form and sticking with the same Starting XI as last match’s successful win against NYFC, the Sounders were in a tough spot on Saturday evening. Defender Kim Kee-hee had to be subbed off with a right ankle in the first half, then Head Coach Brian Schmetzer swapped left back options from Nouhou to Waylon Francis at the break.
This left the Sounders with just one remaining sub while down 1-0 on the road.
“I’ve said it before and I can’t emphasize it enough, that team never quits,” Schmetzer said. “Even when we got the tying goal, there was six minutes left, and they weren’t satisfied with just 1-1. They went for the jugular and got the second goal, and deservedly so.”
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Rave Green. Next week, the Sounders host first-place FC Dallas, followed by matches against the LA Galaxy, at Portland and against Sporting KC. Each opponent is ahead of the Sounders in the Western Conference.
"I think our mentality right now is one game at a time," Bruin said. "One game at a time. Three points here, three points there, and just keep climbing. That’s the mentality right now."