First Touches_MINvCHI_04.23.22

First Touches this week celebrates Minnesota’s goalscoring exploits, and recognizes how stiffly they’ll be tested against the league’s best defense in Chicago.

Stats and Notes

  • Chicago has the best scoring defense in all of MLS in 2022, having allowed just two goals through seven games so far this season.
  • However, they also have the worst offense in all of MLS and find themselves as the one remaining team with just five goals scored on the year. Fire matches, therefore, have averaged a total of one goal per game.
  • Minnesota are no slouches on defense themselves, with their six goals allowed good for a tie for fourth best in MLS.
  • Both teams can credit outstanding goalkeeping for part of their defensive success. Dayne St. Clair and Gaga Slonina have the two highest save percentages in the league and are the only two goalkeepers in the league above 85% in that category.
  • That said, Slonina has had to make just 15 saves (of a possible 17) across seven games. For comparison, 18 MLS goalkeepers have recorded more than 15 saves on the season. With 23 saves in 5 games, Dayne St. Clair is one of three keepers that has tallied more saves than Slonina in fewer appearances.
  • Four of Chicago’s seven MLS games have ended in 0-0 draws.
  • Chicago hasn’t scored a goal of any kind since March 19, marking a goalless drought of 310 game minutes. Their most recent goal was scored by Designated Player Xherdan Shaqiri, who has missed the Fire’s last two games due to injury.
  • Minnesota scored multiple goals for the first time this season on Saturday, and now have a total of six different players with goals to their name in 2022.
  • Abu Danladi’s goal was his first for Minnesota in 973 days, following an August 2019 goal against Orlando City.
  • Emanuel Reynoso recorded his first two assists of the season on Saturday, breaking a drought of 11 games without an assist; his last assists came against Philadelphia in October 2020.
  • Reynoso also recorded by far his best passing game of the season by completion percentage against Colorado, racking up an impressive 84.4% tally. His best prior to Saturday was 77.1% against Austin.
  • While Minnesota games have been generally low-scoring this season, the Loons have been relatively effective at creating chances. As one point of comparison, in their game on Saturday, both Minnesota and Colorado finished with over 2.0 xG. In Chicago’s game on Saturday against LA Galaxy, both teams finished with under 1.0 xG.

Minnesota Connections

  • Wyatt Omsberg was drafted 15th overall by Minnesota in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. He made seven appearances for the Loons before joining Chicago in 2020. Omsberg has played every minute of the season thus far at the heart of Chicago’s defense.
  • Both Franco Fragapane and Federico Navarro played for Club Atletico Talleres in Argentina before moving to MLS; the two both departed in summer 2021. Emanuel Reynoso also played for Talleres from 2015-2018.
  • Both Gastón Giménez and Luis Amarilla played for Vélez Sarsfield in Argentina.

MATCH INFO

Minnesota United FC vs. Chicago Fire
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, MN
04.23.22 | MLS Game No. 8
4:00 pm CT (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, SKOR North)