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MNUFC vs. HOUSTON DYNAMO
PNC Stadium | Houston, Texas
07.23.2022 | MLS Week No. 22 | MLS Game No. 22
7:30 p.m. CT (MLS Live on ESPN+, Bally Sports North EXTRA and 1500 ESPN)

The Loons took down of the Toffees on Wednesday night and sent Everton FC back across the pond in less than tip top condition. Minnesota United not only kept up with a Premier League team, but shut them out in glorious fashion. None other than Emanuel Reynoso opened up the scoring for the night with a converted PK in the 18th minute. The Loons simply outplayed and outclassed the Toffees, leading to a final score of 4-0. Apart from Rey, two other players notched a goal against the Liverpool team: Luis Amarilla and Abu Danladi. Kemar Lawrence can technically claim an assist, with one of his quick crosses resulting in an own goal by an Everton defender. Everton wasn't able to answer, and MNUFC emerged victorious, celebrating at Allianz field with a hoard of fans singing “Wonderwall.” Next up, MNUFC will finish off what has been a busy two week stretch on Saturday night, with a game down in Houston Texas. Despite the busy schedule, the Loons have had more than enough in the tank to extend their unbeaten streak to five league games. On the other hand, the Houston Dynamo have had a mixed set of recent results with a record of 1-3-1 in their last five games. However, the Dynamo have had a much less congested schedule and will have the home field advantage, setting them up with fresher legs. In order for the fourth place Loons to keep the eleventh place Houston at bay, MNUFC will need to make the most of their down time in the next few days. Apart from rest, Minnesota United has ample momentum built up and could use it to finish off their fourth game in ten days with a win. MORE

OPPONENT BREAKDOWN - HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Western Conference is very tight right now. With the season getting shorter and shorter with each passing game, every point is becoming increasingly important. While Houston is just three spots above the bottom, they aren’t dead yet. Héctor Herrera has brought UEFA Champions League pedigree to their midfield, providing a needed boost for a team with everything on the line. Saturday’s matchup is sure to be a real firecracker, as MNUFC tries to keep Houston from starting a late playoff surge. MORE

Adrian Heath on what Hector Herrera brings to Houston…

“He’s been a great player, there’s no doubt. I think it was his debut, there was a full house there. You don’t normally get full houses at this moment in time in Houston. Big name, big personality and they won on the road last week. They’ll be looking to build on that, so difficult task, but we’ll be up for it.” MORE

Abu Danladi on the challenges that Houston Dynamo presents…

“You can’t underestimate any team no matter what season they’re having. Houston is a very tough place to play. Everybody knows that. Even though things have not been working out for them for some games, you can tell that they’re a great team. I’ve watched some of the games myself and have seen they have really good quality players. I think it’s going to be a very, very important game. Can’t go there thinking, ‘Oh maybe they are having not that great of a season so we are going to win’. We just need to go there and fight and actually want to win. Try and do what we’ve been doing here and how we’ve been doing on the road as well. See all the things we’ve been doing right and keep doing that. I think if you do that, I think it’s going to work out well for the team as it’s been going.” MORE

STORYLINES PRESENTED BY BMW

PRESS CONTINUE: The matchup between Houston and Minnesota, historically, has been defined by who gets to play at home. Prior to the 2021 season, every single matchup between the clubs that had a non-draw result (six of a possible ten) had been won by the home team, including a stretch of six straight home wins between late 2017 and September 2020. However, 2021 created a change in that Minnesota not only won for the first time in Houston’s PNC Stadium, but took a clean sweep of the clubs’ three matches in August and September of that year. The Loons outscored the Dynamo 6-1 between the three games, with Houston’s one goal coming in their one home match of the three. Robin Lod was Houston’s chief torturer in the games at Allianz Field, with a goal in each Minnesota win (with due respect to Adrien Hunou, with both goals in Houston, and Ethan Finlay, with a goal and two assists). Could Houston be the ticket to Lod’s first goal since returning from national team duty with Finland? MORE

FIRST TOUCHES

  • 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.
  • Former Loon Darwin 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. MORE