First Touches returns to the friendly context of the Dylan Wolpers Derby as Minnesota United makes their way deep into Texas to face the Houston Dynamo and an old friend of the club in Darwin Quintero.
- Minnesota enters Saturday night’s match on a five-game unbeaten streak, their longest such streak of the season.
- The Loons have risen to fourth in the Western Conference with 31 points.
- Houston, currently 11th in the West, is just six points behind Minnesota; teams between third and 12th in the conference are all within nine points of each other.
- The Dynamo snapped a four-game winless run with a 2-1 win in San Jose on Sunday; they have seven points in their seven games since the June international break.
- Minnesota has scored in seven straight league games, and have been held scoreless just four times across the season’s 21 games.
- Minnesota’s 25 goals allowed this season are tied for fourth-fewest in the West and eighth-fewest in all of MLS.
- The Loons have won two consecutive road matches entering this game; the club has never won three consecutive road matches before.
- Houston has not scored points in consecutive matches since April 16.
- The Dynamo are led in scoring by both Quintero and Sebastián Ferreira, with seven goals apiece; Adam Lundqvist leads in assists with five.
- Emanuel Reynoso’s goals on Saturday were his eighth and ninth of the season, pushing him into a tie for eighth in the league’s Golden Boot race.
- In 121 regular season games and a bit over 8,000 minutes prior to the 2022 MLS season, Reynoso had ten career goals between Talleres, Boca Juniors and his first two seasons in Minnesota. He now has almost matched that in just 21 games.
- Luis Amarilla’s assists on Reynoso’s goals were his first two assists of the season and just his second and third in his Minnesota career.
- Minnesota secured their first clean sheet in thirteen MLS games on Saturday, and their fourth total of the season.
- The Loons held DC to just 0.4 xG on Saturday; on the season, when they hold opponents below 1.0 xG, they are 3-1-0 with three clean sheets.
- Minnesota had 48% possession in Saturday’s match; when the Loons possess the ball for at least 47% of a match, they are 7-3-1. When they possess the ball between 40-46% of a match, they are 0-7-1; when they possess the ball less than 40%, they are 2-0-0.
- As noted above, former Loon Darwin Quintero rises above all others in this section. Quintero, Minnesota’s first ever Designated Player, still holds several positions in Minnesota’s MLS record books, including being the club’s all-time leading goal-scorer in all competitions, as well as notching the club’s first hat trick, among many others.
- Both Luis Amarilla and Sebastián Ferreira were part of the Paraguay squad in World Cup Qualifying in 2021; the two faced off in the Paraguayan top division in 2016 as well.
- Tyler Pasher and Dayne St. Clair were both part of Canada’s Gold Cup team in 2021; Pasher and St. Clair both grew up in Ontario.
- Darwin Cerén played for Adrian Heath’s Orlando City teams from 2014-16, through their transition into MLS.
- Niko Hansen played in Houston from 2019-20.
Minnesota United FC v. Houston Dynamo FC
PNC Stadium | Houston, Texas
07.23.22 | MLS Game 22
7:30 pm CT (MLS Live on ESPN+, Bally Sports North EXTRA and 1500 ESPN)