First Touches Vancouver 7_8

First Touches is on its way north of the border this week, as Minnesota United finds their way up to cool Vancouver for Friday night fun and festivities. Read on for many Minnesota connections, facts from Minnesota’s victory this past weekend, and so much more.

Stats and Notes

  • Minnesota’s 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake on Sunday marked the third time this season the Loons have won back-to-back games; they have not yet successfully converted a third consecutive win.
  • The Loons have scored six goals across their last two games, taking them from a bottom-five scoring team to tied for 16th in the 28 team league.
  • Minnesota has also made their way almost back into the playoff positions, now just two points behind Seattle in seventh (who have a game in hand) and three back of Nashville, Dallas and the Galaxy (who also have a game in hand).
  • Tied with the Loons on 24 points are these very Whitecaps, who have an identical record to Minnesota on the season (7-8-3), but sport a significantly worse goal difference (-9 to Minnesota’s +/-0). 
  • Also tied is the overall record between the two teams, which stands at 3-3-3 through nine MLS games.
  • However, Minnesota hasn’t found much success at BC Place, winning just once in four attempts (a 3-2 win in 2019’s season opener) and losing 2-1 last October in the clubs’ most recent meeting.
  • Vancouver has lost just one of their previous six matches, and enters Friday’s game on a three-game undefeated streak, with a notable 1-0 win over league-leading LAFC in Vancouver last weekend.
  • Emanuel Reynoso enters Friday’s game in the hottest scoring form of his MLS career. Reynoso has scored four goals across Minnesota’s last two games, and suddenly is the Loons’ leading scorer with seven goals on the season.
  • Reynoso’s seven goals this season have already set a season high for his time in MLS, with a prior best of five in 2021. He broke that mark in twelve fewer games.
  • Luis Amarilla scored Minnesota’s third goal on Sunday, his second goal in their last three games.
  • Robin Lod made his first appearance for Minnesota in central midfield due to injuries and absences. Lod has played in all four attacking roles in Minnesota’s 4-2-3-1, and now adds a spot in the midfield duo to his collection.
  • Lucas Cavallini leads Vancouver with five goals on the season.
  • Vancouver is one of just three teams in MLS to attempt fewer than 200 shots on the season, and their 55 shots on goal are the fewest in the league.
  • In Saturday’s 1-0 win over LAFC, Vancouver held an opponent below 1 xG for the first time in their last ten matches, and held an opponent below 0.5 xG for the first time this season.

MINNESOTA CONNECTIONS

  • Michael Boxall played the 2011 season with Vancouver Whitecaps FC after being taken by the club in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft.
  • Dayne St. Clair plays on the Canada National Men’s Team alongside several Vancouver Whitecaps players, including defender Cristian Gutierrez and forward Lucas Cavallini.
  • St. Clair and Vancouver’s Ryan Raposo and Lucas Cavallini all hail from the Toronto area. St. Clair is from Pickering, to the east, and Raposo and Cavallini are from Hamilton and Mississauga to the west.
  • Like Emanuel Reynoso and Franco Fragapane, Vancouver’s Erik Godoy hails from Argentina.
  • MNUFC Technical Director Mark Watson played for Whitecaps FC in 2005, when the club competed in USL.
  • Goalkeeping Coach Stewart Kerr joined Minnesota United following two years with Vancouver from 2017–2018.
  • Minnesota and Vancouver were league opponents prior to both clubs joining MLS. They last met in the USSF Division 2 Pro League in 2010.
  • Vancouver Goalkeeper Cody Cropper grew up in Maple Grove, Minn. and played for the Minnesota Thunder Academy

MATCH INFO

Minnesota United FC v. Vancouver Whitecaps

BC Place | Vancouver, BC, Canada

Friday, July 8

9:30 pm CT (MLS LIVE on ESPN+, Bally Sports North EXTRA, The CW - Twin Cities, 1500 ESPN)