Storylines is ready for its trip to the Northeast, and ready to dig into the Loons’ first matchup with the New England Revolution since March 2019. We consider match freshness, the Revs’ recent loss in attack, and so much more.
Fresh As It Gets
Minnesota’s last competitive fixture was almost three weeks ago, the 1-0 loss to New York City FC at Allianz Field on May 29. The Loons did have their friendly game against SC Paderborn last Saturday, in which many of the team’s regular starters played at least a half, but it’s been a significant break since the Loons last took the field for an MLS match. New England, on the other hand, not only has been back to their MLS schedule since last weekend, but will be on their third MLS game in an eight-day stretch, including a 2-1 win in Kansas City last Sunday and a 1-1 draw at home with Orlando City on Wednesday. It is almost inarguable that the majority of Minnesota’s squad will be better rested for Sunday’s match. Will that be a benefit or a drawback?
Forgot The Buksa
While New England has achieved four points from six in their games since the international break, they’ve done so despite a significant change to their squad. Polish international striker and Designated Player Adam Buksa transferred to RC Lens in France during the international break, with his final appearance for New England coming in their 3-2 win over FC Cincinnati on May 21. Buksa was New England’s highest goalscorer this season with seven goals in ten appearances, and finished tied for fifth in the MLS Golden Boot race with 16 goals in 2021, also best on the Revs. It’s not that New England is short of threats other than Buksa. Reigning MLS MVP Carles Gil leads MLS this season in both successful crosses and key passes, and is tied for the league lead in assists with seven. Gustavo Bou was just one goal behind Buksa in 2021 with 15 on the season. Bou and Gil both scored goals in New England’s games this week, so the Revs have figured out how to function without Buksa already, but he is an undeniable loss to the New England squad.
Goals Change Games
One of coach Adrian Heath’s favorite mantras holds sway over Minnesota’s hopes in this game and those moving forward. Since the 3-0 win over Chicago on April 23, the Loons have been held to one goal or fewer in six of the eight competitive fixtures they have played. They won both games in which they scored twice (in the U.S. Open Cup against Colorado, and in the league against Dallas), and are 0-5-1 in the other six, including their Open Cup defeat to Union Omaha. A United fan may hope that the four goals scored in the Paderborn friendly kickstart the Loons’ struggling attack, and a trademark header by Bakaye Dibassy from an Emanuel Reynoso corner could be a great place to start, as could a confident finish around the keeper by Luis Amarilla.
New England Revolution vs. Minnesota United FC
Gillette Stadium | Foxboro, Massachusetts
06.19.22 | MLS League Game #15
4:00 pm CST (MLS Live on ESPN+, Bally Sports North, The CW-Twin Cities, 1500 ESPN)