SEATTLE (AP) — Roman Torres scored in the 29th minute and the Seattle Sounders beat Minnesota United 1-0 on Sunday in the regular-season finale to finish second in the Western Conference.
The Sounders (16-10-8) will host a first-round playoff game against FC Dallas.
Minnesota (15-11-8), which started the day tied for second with Seattle, slipped to fourth and will host the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first round of the new single-elimination playoffs.
The scoring play started when Nico Lodeiro floated a corner kick from the left-wing side across the field. Joevin Jones picked it up in the right side of the penalty area, crossed a target ball toward the far post, and Torres — in his second game back from a 10-game suspension — ran onto it at the top of the 6-yard box. His header ricocheted off the turf and into the left side of the net past goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
Torres was suspended for 10 games at the start of August for violating the MLS substance abuse policy. The defender returned to action as a late-game substitute last Sunday in a 1-0 victory at San Jose and got the starting call Sunday.
Minnesota nearly tied it in the 40th minute. Ethan Finlay picked up an errant pass by Brad Smith and streaked toward the goal, one-on-one against goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Finlay’s shot from directly behind the penalty spot banged off the left post and bounced away.
In the 74th minute, Finlay sent a dangerous cross through the 6-yard box, but it zipped past Mason Toye before he could get a foot to it.
This is an early recap. Check back for updates.
Oct 6, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders defender Brad Smith (left) moves in against Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay (right) during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports