Seattle visits surging Minnesota looking to regain momentum
Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan is looking forward to squaring off against former teammate Osvaldo Alonso on Saturday night when the Sounders visit Minnesota United at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minn.
“Well, I’m happy that I’ll be able to compete against Ozzie. (He was) really a mentor of mine,” said Roldan, who is eligible to play after having his red card rescinded by Major League Soccer earlier this week.
The 23-year-old Roldan was sent off in the 18th minute in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against MLS-best Los Angeles FC, extending the winless streak of Seattle (5-1-3) to three matches (0-1-2).
“It’s pro sports, there are no moral victories, but this is about as close as it gets,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said of his team securing a point while playing short-handed for the majority of the match.
“What I’m most proud of out of that group is that they all came together.”
Seattle aims to return to its winning ways versus Minnesota (4-3-2), against which it has won all four of its all-time matches and outscored the Loons by an 11-3 margin.
Minnesota is bidding to record consecutive victories for the first time since winning its first two matches this season.
The Loons posted back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in their MLS history with a scoreless draw against the LA Galaxy and a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Sunday. Angelo Rodriguez’s goal in the 82nd minute served as the game winner in the latter match.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath is also aware of the importance of Saturday’s match for Alonso, but has faith that his player will keep the team’s interests ahead of his own.
“I know Ozzie. It will be business as usual,” Heath said. “As much as he’s got great memories there and quite rightly so — he’s been an incredible servant to that club over 10 years — he wants to win here now. We’re the club where he’s making his living. He’ll want to win and they know that as well.”
Minnesota will feature a new look after trading captain Francisco Calvo to the Chicago Fire on Friday in exchange for $400,000 in allocation money.
The 26-year-old Calvo, who sat out the Loons’ 1-0 win over D.C. United, recorded five goals and four assists in 60 career regular-season appearances for Minnesota.
REUTERS/Field Level Media