Three takeaways as Minnesota United set Western Conference final with Seattle Sounders

It was a show by Babello Renoso and Kevin Molino as Sporting Kansas City were set aside by Minnesota United to book a Western Conference deadline with the Seattle Sounders. Here’s my takeaway.

Molino is the undisputed playfuls MVP

The first part of this game was half a 3-0 game that I never saw. It’s not that Minnesota didn’t deserve it, they did – it was that Sporting had enough chances to put the game to bed before leaving the Loons. From the first 25 minutes of the game I wondered how on earth Minnesota is still in the game. And then Molino woke up and continued to make his case for the MLS playoffs MVP, and similarly, Minnesota punched his ticket into the Western Conference finals.

Molino is a player I always liked but at the time he flattered to cheat. Talent, but it can be a great then and then anonymous. For one reason or another, it has just found a zone that very few athletes reach. He’s at the point where everything he’s trying to come up with, things that will take years to see easily, and he’s putting the ball back and forth with a functionality that any fox in the box box would be proud of.

He has been the best player in the playoffs – none. An entire Minnesota look is incredibly deadly and it’s not just Molino, it’s the whole attack of Robin Lod, Ethan Finlay, Renoso and of course Molino. I absolutely love the way out on the break – they attack with speed and purpose and seem to have a clear plan of what they want to do. The sport couldn’t help itself defensively, but this was more about how well their chances were when they arrived in Minnesota.

The first goal was exceptional. With both Molino’s run time and the always impressive Renoso’s pass time, the movement of the ball was the pinnacle of quick passes and exits. It was Adrian Heath’s team at the best attack, fast, accurate, purposeful and deadly time.

See: Renoso and Molino connect for the first two Minnesota goals

The combination of Renoso-Molino is similar to Lodero-Morris which has worked wonders for sounders. You know what they want to do, but it’s very difficult, it’s not entirely impossible to stop it when it’s in full flow. They are not yet at the level of the Sounders Duo, as they have released a performance that translates into Silverware. But, given the time, and the current path that is on, this is a pair that can dominate for a while.

They are the perfect pair because their skill sets complement each other so well. One likes to run the ball and go backwards, while the other has eyes in the back of his head and can pass any defense. Again, very similar to the Sounders Duo. Renoso has been a revelation. I’m judging the players for how well he makes the people around him and he’s top when it comes down to it. Molino is a player just like I was: he’s good at dribbles, can go left or right, but he’s more than just a winger – he’s dangerous and he’s also able to come in and play-make at the moment. There aren’t many who can handle Molino and Renoso right now, they’re just flying.

Midfield, defensive failure proves the undoing of Sporting

There were a few more Western Conference-based MLS fans who were skeptical about how much Sporting deserves in the number one seed. They haven’t faced Seattle, LAFC or Portland all season and so it was hard to understand exactly how their level compared to some of the better teams in their conference.

That being said, I liked most of what I saw from him this season but ultimately what to spend on him in this game was his sub-par midfield performance. Eli Sanchez is a classy player and he does a good job of bringing his team’s tempo to justice but he struggled to make his place on the game, like Gianluca Busio and Roger Espinoza. He chose the wrong time to put in a weak shift in the sporting engine room – where many games win and lose. Oswaldo Alonso – his best year may be behind him, but there is no midfielder in whose place I would have run the playoffs – gave Minnesota a right in the middle of the park that prevents Sporting from bringing any kind of dominance.

Goals change games – obviously. If Sporting had easily scored two or three goals in the opening 25 minutes, we are having a very different discussion right now, but as it is, they were not defensively good at advancing a weak attack.

Immediately after the shootout win against San Jose I expressed my disbelief at how much they exposed the deadliest striker in league history with 10 seconds left on the clock within six yards inside the box. Once again, there was a lot left to be desired in his defense as Molino was too easy to make a straight run on goal for his opening goal. When you concede six goals in two home playoff games, you give yourself an almost unavoidable task and in the same way play for sporting.

In that conference final, Lodero vs. Is Renoso

In the simplest terms, this game will change the way anyone is more impressive between Lodero and Renoso. I know this is a very basic and simple analysis that anyone with two good eyes can make, but sometimes football comes in a very clear matter.

The Sounders have great players all over the pitch but they live and die through what Lodero does. He is proving to be the best sign in the history of the club and his performance in the big games is second to none. If you stop it, you cut a lot of what Ruidize and Morris do because he is their supplier.

Can Alonso turn the clock back and put it in one of the masterful defensive efforts he has done so many times before this game would have been played in a very stadium? If it could be ZZ, I have called the best holding mid to draw them into our league, then Minnesota’s chances will go up as he is more than capable of stopping the loaders. I can’t wait to see that match.

On the other hand, it’s the same story for Renoso: can he further his playmaking influence and pull Seattle’s defenders across the pitch? He will not be man-marked by any one player but will have to try to limit the sounders by the committee. It provides such a great service to Molino that if you can keep it quiet you are killing almost two birds with one stone.

To be clear, there will be many factors that determine the outcome, but I really think whichever team’s playmaker is on the song, there will be a team that will move on.

Former MLS star winger Steve Zakuani He was a number one overall pick in the 2009 MLS Superdraft and played for the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timber. He is currently a member of the Sounders Broadcast Team and has published a book “Rise Up” And a documentary “Unbreakable” Around his return from a serious injury marking his playing days. He is also the coach of Bellevue High School and makes a difference in the lives of his non-profit young players. Kingdom Hope Institute.