Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Yeimar Gomez Andrade scores for both sides as Sounders draw in Minnesota

By Jayda Evans Seattle Sounders

It seems unfair for Yeimar Gomez Andrade to be at the center of Sunday’s match.

For one, the defender shouldn’t have been the team’s best scoring option in a road match against Minnesota. And second, it’s unfortunate his success in heading home a goal in the opening half was nullified by his own goal in the second – an aerial interception he likely would’ve been criticized for not making because it looked as if Sounders keeper Stefan Frei would’ve been beaten by midfielder Emmanuel Reynoso’s service off a free kick.

The good and the bad keeps the Sounders on an ugly road after a 1-1 draw at Allianz Field.

“That play, is it heavy legs, is it unfortunate?” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer wondered aloud of the own goal. “It just seems that’s the way our season has gone here as of late. I’m hoping that our luck changes because, look, to go into halftime 1-0 against a desperate Minnesota team, we keep a clean sheet the second half and that’s three points for us.”

Although the Sounders moved ahead of Real Salt Lake to third in Western Conference standings because of goal differential, the side is winless in six matches through all competitions. Five points separate Seattle from Minnesota to remain above the Western Conference playoff line.

Schmetzer began making substitutions in the 71st minute. He pulled designated striker Raul Ruidiaz in the 87th minute, notching another day since his last goal June 10. Jordan Morris, who leads the Sounders in goals at nine, has now gone 13 matches without scoring.

“He’s pressing to score,” Schmetzer said of Ruidiaz. “Sometimes when players press, they’re trying to maybe do too much. I don’t think we gave him enough service. You could see that he was working hard defensively, even late in the game he was still coming back and chasing and trying to help. It wasn’t a stellar performance by Raul, but certainly I was OK with his effort and application.”

Talk of a different lineup to shake the Sounders (10-9-7) out of their funk ended up being one change and position shifts. Morris was moved from the right wing to the left and midfielder Leo Chu was benched. Obed Vargas joined Joao Paulo in the middle and Rusnak was moved up to the right flank.

Minnesota (8-8-8) played without striker Bongi Hlongwane, who leads the Loons with 13 goals through all competitions this season, due to injury. The counter was playmaker Reynoso’s return from a suspension and injury that included missing Minnesota’s 1-0 loss to Seattle at Lumen Field in April.

“The message was to be a little bit more solid defensively,” Joao Paulo said of Schmetzer’s words regarding the lineup. “We were taking easy goals the last few games. It started from the back to make us a little closer to winning games. So, the message is to be a little bit more solid and we’re going to score goals.”

The Sounders travel to Texas to play Austin FC on Wednesday.

“I don’t think we’re happy, especially with the second half performance,” said Rusnak, whose team had one shot on goal against Minnesota after the break. “But this point could be valuable down the stretch.”