This week, Storylines has its beautiful red eyes set on goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, as well as the calendar, which may portend a favorable outcome for Wednesday night's home match.
With the Galaxy’s proficiency from outside the 18-yard box, all eyes are on St. Clair. Of Los Angeles’s 12 goals this season, four have come from outside the box, tied with four other teams for second most in MLS (Columbus leads the league with six such goals; in contrast, none of MNUFC’s twelve goals have come from outside the box this season). LA Galaxy, Columbus and Charlotte FC all bear the distinction of scoring single-digit goals from inside the box while scoring at least four from outside the box. It’s not just one player making it count, either. Each of Efraín Álvarez, Douglas Costa and Marky Delgado have at least one such goal, with Costa’s free kick in the Galaxy’s 3-1 loss to FC Dallas last weekend being a most recent example. The Loons need St. Clair at his best, yet again, to keep another unique threat out of Minnesota’s net.
Hump Day Heroics?
Wednesday’s game marks the Loons first midweek, MLS-regular-season matchup this season, but this isn’t their first rodeo…if rodeos were weekday matchups…you get it. In fact, their first two matches played in the U.S. Open Cup took place (partially, at least) on Wednesday evenings, and both ended in a Loons victory. Step it back further, MNUFC played nine MLS games during weekdays in 2021, which drew mixed results, going 3-2-4 in those games. However, just three of those nine games were midweek games played at Allianz Field and, you guessed it, all three resulted in wins. In fact, through six seasons of MLS regular-season home fixtures played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the Loons have gone 11-3-1, with their lone loss occurring all the way back in July 2017 (and it’s the only one of these 15 matches to occur on a Tuesday, for the record). Yes, that’s correct: Minnesota has never lost a regular season game on a Wednesday at home. The more you knoooooow…
After opening the season with a defense that didn't allow any late goals through the first eight games, fast-forward to now, in which Minnesota has been done in by late goals in each of their last three games. The Loons have allowed five goals combined in the final twenty minutes of those three games. MNUFC has to figure out a way to make it through the 90th minute to get one back in the win column. And, no doubt, Adrian Heath and company have schemed on a solution to the problem for Wednesday evening. Reassurance came last week in the form of a late winner to advance into the next round of the U.S. Open Cup last week over Colorado. Let’s hope the Loons are inspired by the friendly confines of home.
Minnesota United FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, MN
05.18.22 | MLS Game No. 12
7:00 pm CT (Bally Sports North, 1500 ESPN)