MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
TCF Bank Stadium | Minneapolis, Minnesota
07.18.18 | MLS Week No. 21 | MLS Match No. 20
7:00 p.m. CT (FOX Sports North, FOX Sports GO, MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN)
With three valuable and hard earned home points in hand from the weekend, Minnesota United has to regroup quickly for a midweek match-up against New England Revolution as it resumes a pivotal stretch of five of six games at home. Both MNUFC and New England are coming off weekend matches that featured late drama, with the Loons seeking to improve from a narrow win over Real Salt Lake and the Revolution still smarting after the end of its seven-game unbeaten run.
The midweek clash between Minnesota and New England will kick off at 7:00 p.m. CT on Wednesday, July 18 at TCF Bank Stadium. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports North, streaming on FOX Sports GO and on MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN.
“We have three games at home in eight days and we know they are really important games for us,” Head Coach Adrian Heath said. “We have started well. We have the first win under our belt and now we have to go and prepare for what is going to be another difficult task.”
Minnesota has grabbed six points in its last two home games and Heath praised his team’s passing, combination play, shape and defensive positioning in Saturday’s 3-2 win over RSL. The Loons were excellent in the opening 75 minutes of that match and opened up a healthy 3-0 lead, but let up on the gas late, conceded twice and made things a little too close for comfort as they escaped with a one-goal triumph.
Late goals against have been a recurring issue for MNUFC recently and took some of the shine off of an otherwise exemplary outing against RSL. Minnesota also eased up with a three-goal lead, 4-1, against Toronto in a narrow 4-3 win and conceded twice late against Colorado to turn a 2-1 lead into a disappointing 3-2 loss.
“We have to be more mature and be a mature team,” defender Francisco Calvo said. “If we are winning 3-0 we have to close the game. That is it. At 3-0 it is over. We did a really good job in the game and when they score two goals against us, you are happy with the three points but you are a little bit unhappy because you cannot concede two goals that fast.”
New England had some late game troubles of its own in a gut-wrenching loss, 3-2, to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday. Despite being down to 10 men, New England led, 2-1, but fell apart in stoppage time and conceded twice just seconds apart in the 92nd and 93rd minutes as its seven-game MLS unbeaten streak (2-0-5) came to an end.
With the sting of that setback still looming in the Revs’ minds, Calvo believes it is paramount for his side to start well and put the visitors behind the eight ball early.
“It is going to be in their head,” Calvo said. “If we score first, the ghosts are going to come back to their heads. We need to think about us, we don’t need to think about them. We are really strong when we play at TCF so we have to keep it that way.”
The Revolution will also be without a pair of key offensive pieces on Wednesday as both midfielders Luis Caicedo and Cristian Penilla are suspended. Penilla, who was shown a red card against the Galaxy, ranks second on the team in both goals and assists with eight and five, respectively.
Though Caicedo and Penilla’s absences will force changes, New England can still rely on forward (and Prior Lake native) Teal Bunbury — who leads the squad and ranks among the top five in MLS with 10 goals this season — and playmaking midfielder Diego Fagundez.
“Whoever they bring in, they have a deep roster,” Heath said. “They all look motivated and lively whenever they play. They will be incredibly hardworking, disciplined, in your face and getting after you. That has been the hallmark of the team since (Head Coach Brad Friedel) took over and I don’t expect any different on Wednesday.”
Following Wednesday’s match, Minnesota United will get right back on the horse for a meeting with expansion side Los Angeles FC on Sunday, July 22. That home game will commence at 6:00 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium with pre-game coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. on FOX Sports North, streaming on FOX Sports GO and on MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN.
Minnesota United FC
D – Jerome Thiesson (right lower leg)
M – Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction)
M – Ethan Finlay (right ACL tear)
M – Kevin Molino (left ACL tear)
F – Abu Danladi (left leg)
New England Revolution
D – Chris Tierney (right ACL tear)
F – Femi Hollinger-Janzen (dislocated elbow)
- Bobby Shuttleworth was a goalkeeper for New England Revolution from 2009 though 2016. He led them to the MLS Cup Final in 2014.
- Cody Cropper is a native of Maple Grove, Minnesota.
- Teal Bunbury grew up in Prior Lake, Minnesota, and played for the Rochester Thunder, the Minnesota Thunder’s PDL affiliate, in 2009. He went to Shattuck-St. Mary’s in high school.
- Femi Hollinger-Janzen was selected by MNUFC in the fifth round of the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft from New England Revolution. He was later traded back to the Revs for Bobby Shuttleworth.
- Jalil Anibaba and Collen Warner were teammates on Houston Dynamo in 2016.
- Brad Knighton and Collin Martin both spent time on loan with the Richmond Kickers in 2015.
- Brandon Bye spent the 2017 season in Minnesota, playing for the NPSL’s Minneapolis City.
- Darwin Quintero scored his seventh goal of the season and provided two assists in the 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday, July 14.
- Quintero was named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 20 following his performance against Real Salt Lake. He has been featured in back-to-back weeks on the Team of the Week, with a total of three appearances on the year.
- Francisco Calvo had two assists in Minnesota’s 3-2 victory over RSL.
- Calvo and Quintero tied an MNUFC club record with two assists apiece against RSL. MNUFC players have tied this mark on seven occasions since the club joined MLS.
- Miguel Ibarra scored his second game-winning goal of the year against RSL. He has played a vital role in five of the Loons’ seven game-winners on the year, scoring two and assisting three.
- Ibson scored his third goal of the season to put the Loons up 1-0 vs. RSL.
- Christian Ramirez earned his first assist of the 2018 season against RSL.
- Bobby Shuttleworth collected his 15th win for MNUFC last week. He made four saves, punched two shots out and caught one cross against RSL.
- Brent Kallman scored his first MLS goal against New England Revolution on March 25, 2017.
- Collen Warner also scored against the Revolution back in 2017. It was his first goal as an MNUFC player.
- The Revs will be missing three players on Wednesday due to disciplinary reasons. Cristian Penilla was given a red card, while Antonio Milnar Delamea and Luis Caicedo reached the yellow-card limit in New England’s 3-2 loss to LA Galaxy on Saturday.
- MNUFC is tied for the third-most home wins in the Western Conference. The Loons’ six wins are equaled by Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo. Real Salt Lake leads the West with eight wins at home.
- Ibarra reclaimed the title of most-accurate shooter in MLS, boasting a 68.2% shots-on-goal percentage.
- Teal Bunbury is tied for the fifth-most goals in MLS, netting 10 so far in his 2018 campaign.
- Five of Bunbury’s goals have been game-winners, good for second-most in the league.
- Diego Fagundez leads the league with 75 corner kicks taken.
- The Revs have been runners-up in the MLS Cup Final a record five times, tying them with D.C. United for the second most MLS Cup Final appearances. Their last trip came in 2014, with Shuttleworth tending goal in a 2-1 extra-time loss to the LA Galaxy.