A brace by Clint Dempsey, and goals by Will Bruin and Jordan Morris led Seattle Sounders FC to a convincing win against Minnesota United FC on Saturday night. The home side were undone by some poor defending and some ruthless finishing, for the most part, by their opponents and in all honesty, the scoreline could have been much worse for Minnesota on the night.
Early Bruin goal sets the tone of the game
After a strong performance last time out in Major League Soccer by Minnesota, they did not start this game well at all. An early giveaway in midfield allowed Morris to push forward out wide and square the pass to an unmarked Bruin at the far post. Bruin was unable to capitalize but it was a sign of things to come in the game. Four minutes later, Joevin Jones laid the ball off to Nicolás Lodeiro who was by the penalty spot but the Uruguayan was unable to punish the lack defending by Minnesota.
In the ninth minute, another giveaway sent Bruin on the break and play the one-two with Dempsey to set up his seventh goal of the season. Will Bruin was meant to come in as a backup for the Sounders but has proven his worth and earned his way into the starting eleven for eleven out of his 19 appearances so far this season. His finish for the first goal of the game, a great finish from a difficult angle, showed how well the former Houston Dynamo man is playing these days.
Dempsey then made it two for the Sounders in the 18th minute. A short corner by Lodeiro worked to Gustav Svensson and nodded back into danger by Chad Marshall made things easy for Dempey to head home from close range and put the Sounders up by two before half-time. It was no less than the Sounders deserved after picking apart the Minnesota defense time and time again in the first half. Jordan Morris could have made it three in the 41st minute when Dempsey played a great ball into space for Morris to be one-on-one with goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth but his finishing let him down and Shuttle worth was able to make the save.
Minnesota push forward in the second half but get punished on the break
The second half saw the home team try to salvage something out of the game but Sounders' goalkeeper Stefan Frei stood tall as his team weathered the early second half storm from Minnesota. He denied both Abu Dunladi and Sam Nicholson in a short period of time and when he was required to make some key saves but otherwise the defenders, Marshall and Román Torres, in front of him did a good job of limiting the amount of clear cut chances Minnesota had during their only good spell of the game.
Seattle used this urgency by Minnesota to pull a goal back to their advantage and both Dempsey and Lodeiro missed easy chances to put the Sounders ahead in the 51st minute after some good play on both occasions by Jordan Morris.
The third goal for Seattle seemed to be only a matter of time before it happened and it came after Lodeiro played Morris through on goal in the 71st minute. Morris, who up until that point had only scored two goals the entire season, scuffed his shot but it went under Shuttleworth and gave the Sounders a three-nil lead. Dempsey, who had been lively all game long, then made it four two minutes later after a great run and pass by Jones set him to finish low into the far corner.
If Seattle had had their shooting boots on, the final score would have made for much worse reading for any Minnesota fan out there but a 4-0 win will be something that the Sounders will gladly take into their next match up against a much more difficult opponent.