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Sounders-Minnesota United Preview
Minnesota United FC has not played many games at home this season, but when it has, it's fared relatively well - for the most part.
Looking to remain undefeated at home, Minnesota tries once again to record its first victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.
Minnesota (4-3-2) has played just three home matches this season, thanks in part to a five-game opening stretch on the road. In those three games at St. Paul's Allianz Field, Minnesota has totaled five points against quality competition in New York City FC, the Galaxy and D.C. United.
On Saturday, the Loons will complete a three-game home stretch looking to build on last weekend's 1-0 win over D.C. Angelo Rodriguez's goal in the 82nd minute proved to be the winner for Minnesota, which has produced clean sheets in two straight games.
With that first home win out of the way, Minnesota can shift its focus to recording back-to-back victories for the first time since winning at Vancouver and San Jose to open the 2019 campaign.
"If we go and pick three more points up, that will make the table look even more healthier than it is at the moment," coach Adrian Heath told Minnesota's official website.
A three-point performance this weekend will also hold some historical significance for United. Minnesota has been outscored 11-3 while losing all four of its meetings with the Sounders (5-1-3), but considering the way they've played - especially defensively - over the last two games at home, anything is possible come Saturday.
"(There's) a great base for us to go and win games," Minnesota keeper Vito Mannone said. "If we (kept a clean sheet) against the (Eastern Conference co-leaders D.C. United), and we done it against L.A., we can do it against anybody. It's up to us to deliver, and have high standards."
The Sounders always expect the most from themselves when they take the pitch, and they'll look to avoid going winless in a fourth consecutive match. They opened the season on a 5-0-1 run but are 0-1-2 since.
Seattle, though, has recorded those draws in the last two games, most recently 1-1 against MLS-leader Los Angeles FC at home on Sunday. The point was even more impressive considering the Sounders finished the game with nine men following two red cards, one of which against midfielder Cristian Roldan that has since been rescinded following an appeal.
"It's pro sports, there are no moral victories, but (that was) about as close as it gets," coach Brian Schmetzer told the Sounders' official website. "What I'm most proud of out of that group is that they all came together."
Despite the club's winless form of late, it's still third in the Western Conference while owner of the third-most points (18) in MLS.
Updated May 2, 2019