Seattle Sounders cruised past Minnesota United at Lumen Field after an uninspiring first half. João Paulo scored an early contender for goal of the season just after half time before Raúl Ruidíaz bagged a brace within three minutes. Fredy Montero then added a fourth on his homecoming to add gloss to the scoreline.
Story of the match
After an uninspiring opening half an hour, the home side won a penalty after Wil Trapp was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. Ruidíaz stepped up, but his spot kick was saved by Dayne St. Clair to his right hand side.
Soon after, Robin Lod went closest for the visitors as his shot struck the post and went out for a goal kick with Seattle stopper Stefan Frei well beaten.
Half time: Sounders 0-0 Minnesota
The opening goal for the Sounders came five minutes into the second half - and what a goal it was. After a cross was headed away by the Minnesota defence, João Paulo took one touch to cushion the ball before volleying past St Clair from all of 35 yards. It was a goal worthy of the highest praise, and it will be some feat for any player to score a better one this weekend.
Seattle almost conceded soon after. A free kick from Reynoso was headed goalwards past Frei, but before it crossed the line Cristian Roldan hooked the ball away to safety to keep the score at 1-0.
Seattle then scored two quick fire goals to put the game beyond the visitors. Both were scored by Ruidíaz, and the first was created by Will Bruin - who unselfishly squared to the Peruvian to slot home. Then Roldan was in behind and again squared to the talismanic striker to make it 3-0.
The Sounders got their fourth through Fredy Montero. A deep cross was hit first time on the volley by the Columbian and into the bottom corner to roll back the years - it could have been ten years previous during his first spell at the club.
Takeaways from the match
The Sounders were excellent second half, but Minnesota will wonder what could have been if Lod’s effort went in and Roldan hadn’t cleared off the line. They created some decent chances, but their back line was their weakness. Once the Sounders hit top gear, there was no stopping the onslaught.
João Paulo will take the plaudits for his golazo, but Cristian Roldan was crucial at both ends. He had involvement in three of the goals and made sure his side kept a clean sheet in a superb performance that will have had Brian Schmetzer beaming at the full time whistle.