Saunders scored twice late to beat Minnesota United 3-2 in the KLRT.

Saunders scored twice late to beat Minnesota United 3-2 in the KLRT.

Seattle Sounders forward Will Bruin (17) will be aiming for a goal against Minnesota United in the second half of the MLS Playoff Western Conference final on Monday, December 7, 2020 in Seattle. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)

Seattle (AP) – The Seattle Sounders were awarded the Western Conference Championship Trophy for the fourth time in five years as the Confetti flew and the firecrackers exploded in front of the empty stadium.

Just minutes ago, the Saunders appeared on the verge of abandoning their claim to defend the MLS Cup champions.

“I don’t know how we did it. I’m just telling you, I don’t know how we did it, “said Seattle coach Brian Schmidtzer.

The Sounders conceded another possible comeback in MLS playoff history when they came out of a corner kick in the final moments of the second half’s stoppage time to lead Seattle to a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United on Monday night. . Cup final.

Seattle scored three goals in the final 15 minutes and stoppage time to surprise Minnesota and claimed the title for the fourth time in five seasons in the league championship game.

Seattle will travel to Columbus to face the crew in the MLS Cup final on Saturday. Seattle is the second team in MLS history to reach the final four times in five seasons, joining DC United in the first season of the league.

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“God wants our fans to be in that stadium,” Schmidtzer said. “I wish I was a fan. It was incredible. In the history of our Sounders, it will become one of the best games ever. ”

Will Brunn scored in the 75th minute to give Seattle a 2-1 lead and set the stage for a wild final when Saunders scored twice. Raul Ruidias had a good chance at his feet when he beat goalkeeper Dane St. Clair to give Sa-2nders a 2-2 lead just before the end of the 90th minute.

Seattle pressed for a winner and almost got it from Ruidias just to see his shot hit outside the post. But Swanson came out on top in the final corner kick from the Minnesota defenders.

After the game, Swaveson said he had tested positive for the Covid 19 after returning from international duty with Sweden last month and was therefore unavailable for Seattle’s first two playoff victories. Swanson said he was unclean.

“I didn’t want to be the only one with me watching TV this year,” Swason said. “I am just happy to be able to help my teammates play another game.”

Seattle will try to become the first repeat champion in the MLS after the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2011-12.

Most of the night the youngster appeared, the Upstart Lones were heading to Columbus to play in their first final of Minnesota’s fourth MLS season. Minnesota had limited scoring chances but they took advantage of the gains, taking the lead from 30 yards out in the first half on a complete free kick by Emmanuel Renso. Defender Buckey Debassi scored in the second half on an assist header from Reynolds’ midfielder, and Lones appeared to lead the final.

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“The best way to describe it at the moment is to be honest, it’s just a little bit of a shell shock,” said Minnesota coach Adrian Heath.

Renoso continued to present himself as one of the brightest young stars in the league following his move from Argentina’s Boca Juniors to Argentina’s Luna in September. Reynolds was part of Minnesota’s final 11 goals of the season, either scoring or assisting each of them.

“We bowed, we didn’t break for the majority game,” said Ethan Finlay of Minnesota. “I’m just sick with my stomach, obviously. Everyone in the locker room is sick. ”

But Seattle’s late alternative made a big difference. Bruin arrived and scored almost immediately and Brad Smith and Swanson’s late association proved critical.

This was the second time in team history that two separate substitutions were made for the Saunders. Seattle has now won 14 straight playoff matches at home.

“The credit for getting those guys ready to come, make a difference and play for their teammates,” Schmidzer said.

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Cory Weinberg

About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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