The Sounders unleashed the full fury of their attack Saturday and an expansion Minnesota United squad had little chance
An unfettered Sounders attack unleashed its fury on a porous Minnesota United FC defense Saturday and the result was something fans have long awaited.
The Sounders emerged with a 4-0 road victory, moving to within two points of the Western Conference lead and serving notice they’re a team to watch down the stretch. It wasn’t so much the blowout win over an expansion team known for giving up goals in bunches, more the folks doing the scoring.
Clint Dempsey notched the brace and Jordan Morris knocked one in as well to go with an early strike by Will Bruin. These are the players the Sounders count on for offense and they delivered.
“You want to keep building, keep working hard to sharpen up to be better,” Dempsey told reporters postgame. “But things are looking good. We are where we want to be in terms of putting ourselves in a position to make the playoffs.”
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The Sounders could have potted a few more goals and nearly let Minnesota back in the game a couple of times early. Stefan Frei had to be sharp on a couple of early chances, but the Sounders took a two-goal lead in to halftime and doubled it before the finish.
“Sometimes, things break down and it’s about not giving up,” Frei said. “It becomes desperate, but every single guy on this team does whatever they can to every last second to not allow them to score and that is what defending is about.”
The Sounders have not yielded a goal in three consecutive matches with most of their back line healthy and newcomer Kelvin Leerdam taking on a starring role at right back. But as has been the case much of the season, it’s the attack that dictates whether the Sounders win or settle for draws as they did last weekend at Los Angeles.
Seeing Morris convert one of his many chances has to rank as a positive for the Sounders coming off his performance for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Morris had one more goal in the Gold Cup tournament than the two he’d notched for the Sounders all season before his second half tally.
“He’s always working hard, always trying to score goals,” Dempsey said. “I think this team is playing better than we were earlier in the season. Obviously, his confidence is high for him with how things went for him in the Gold Cup, but at the same time you know he’s working hard all year and is doing good for us and will continue to do well.”
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer was pleased with how his three main forwards contributed, especially Morris.
“He’s putting the work in at training, doing a little extra work every day at training to stay sharp,” Schmetzer said. “Bruin and Deuce (Dempsey) have been doing that all season long.”