Last-place Minnesota United FC gave the red-hot Seattle Sounders all they could handle on Sunday. But just when the underdog Loons thought they'd scratched and clawed their way to a gutsy road draw at CenturyLink Field, Clint Dempsey broke Minnesotan hearts in stoppage time, earning then netting a last-second penalty kick to salvage a 2-1 win for Seattle.
Ethan Finlay scored on his MNUFC debut to hand the visitors a shock early lead. And even after Chad Marshall thumped home an equalizing header 10 minutes later, the Loons held their nerve to repel wave after wave of Sounders attacks.
Abu Danladi spurned several chances to push the expansion side back in front, though, and the rookie's wastefulness was eventually punished when substitute Jermaine Taylor was judged to have blocked Dempsey's shot with his hand in the dying moments.
- 21' – MIN – Ethan Finlay Watch
- 31' – SEA – Chad Marshall Watch
- 90+4' – SEA – Clint Dempsey (PK) Watch
- SET. PIECES. Minnesota have encountered plenty of misfortune in their debut MLS season, but self-inflicted wounds have featured as well. Sunday was a painful case study. Marshall's goal was a free header off a free kick (see tweet below) as his marker, Michael Boxall, slipped and fell. And the injury-time handball occurred in the aftermath of a Seattle corner kick.
- TOUGH NIGHT, ROOK: With star striker Christian Ramirez sidelined by a hamstring problem, the onus up top fell on the shoulders of his understudy Danladi. This year's No. 1 overall SuperDraft pick worked hard and got into good positions, but failed to convert some glaring opportunities that could've really helped his team. On some level, Danladi's frustrations embody the entire year for MNUFC.
- DEUCE STILL RIDIN': Just a few hours after MLS' leading scorer David Villa hauled his team to a comeback win, Dempsey's 11th goal of 2017 provided a reminder of why he, too, is a veteran force to be reckoned with. The rangy Texan continues to consistently conjure up danger around the attacking third and is gaining momentum at the perfect time: