FC DALLAS vs. MINNESOTA UNITED FC
Toyota Stadium | Frisco, Texas
08.18.2018 | MLS Week No. 25 | MLS Game No. 25
7:00 p.m. CT (FOX Sports North Plus, FOX Sports GO, MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN)
FCD: 12-5-6, 7-1-4 at home
MIN: 9-13-2, 1-9-1 on the road
Boosted by its vital point in Los Angeles, an invigorated Minnesota United side heads south to the Lone Star State this weekend to square off with Western Conference frontrunner FC Dallas in the second game of Minnesota’s five-game road swing. Though Dallas paces the conference with 42 points, it has dropped its last two contests, including a 3-1 stunner of a home loss to San Jose two weeks ago.
The Loons and the Toros will meet on Saturday, August 18 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports North Plus, streaming on FOX Sports GO and on MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN.
“It is never easy this time of year when you go to Dallas,” Head Coach Adrian Heath said. “It is going to be a real tough one, but as San Jose proved, if you have a little bit of luck on the road and you take your opportunities when they come who knows what can happen?”
Last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with the Galaxy was a breakthrough effort for MNUFC. Not only did the team pick up its first points on the road since March, but it also came back from a pair of one-goal deficits to do so — showing the level of resiliency on the road it will need over its road trip to make an earnest push for the postseason.
At 29 points through 24 games, Minnesota sits in ninth place in the Western Conference and six points below the red line. The sense of urgency in the locker room is increasing and that hunger helped MNUFC secure a confidence-building draw in Los Angeles and shake a weighty monkey off of its back.
“I think it brings more focus every day to training because the more points we drop, the less likely we are to make the playoffs,” defender Michael Boxall said. “There is a lot more pressure on each moment, each training, each game and each moment in the game and we know we need to step up.”
With defender Francisco Calvo and midfielder Collen Warner serving red card and yellow card accumulation suspensions, respectively, this weekend, some new faces are going to have to rise to the occasion for the Loons against FC Dallas. Heath said any decisions on tactical changes, such as possibly moving away from the 3-5-2 shape, will be made after getting a better look at Dallas on film, but at the very least the Loons will have to make two new insertions into the lineup.
Boxall, the likely captain in Calvo’s stead, believes Minnesota has the requisite depth to combat the absences of two of the team’s key defensive cogs and cited midfielder Collin Martin deftly stepping in against Sporting Kansas City on May 20 to back that up.
“This is a time where those players need to step up,” Boxall said. “They know it and I know they have been working hard and they have to be more than ready. We have a deep enough squad. Collin Martin stepped up for the Kansas City home game where we played pretty well. He was outstanding that game. Whoever gets called upon is going to do the job.”
Whoever steps in will have to be up to the task against an FC Dallas team that sits atop the Western Conference and is unbeaten in 11 of 12 games at home this season (7-1-4). Dallas has allowed the third-fewest goals against in the conference and pairs that with an attack led by midfielder Roland Lamah and forward Maxi Urruti — both among the team’s leaders with eight goals and five assists and six goals and four assists, respectively, on the year. FC Dallas also recently added to its attacking ranks with the acquisition of forward Dominique Badji from Colorado and he scored in his Dallas debut last week — a 2-1 loss at Seattle.
With two-straight losses, FC Dallas will be eager to reverse its current form at home. Minnesota did well against Dallas in a narrow 1-0 loss at TCF Bank Stadium earlier this season. That performance is a positive one to build from, but the Loons are expecting FCD to be a different animal in front of their home crowd.
“They are what they are,” Heath said. “They are not at the top of the league because it has been a bad year for them. They have a lot of pace in the team, are very good going forward, work really hard and have a good system that they have implemented over the last four or five years and incrementally get better at it.”
Following its trip to Dallas on Saturday, Minnesota United continues its five-game road trip with a visit to Children’s Mercy Park to face Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, August 25. Game time for the Midwest match-up is 7:30 p.m. CT. Pre-game coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. on FOX Sports North Plus, streaming on FOX Sports GO and on MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN.
Minnesota United FC
M – Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction)
M – Kevin Molino (left ACL tear)
M – Ethan Finlay (right ACL tear)
M – Maximiano (right knee)
F – Darwin Quintero (right lower leg)
D – Kris Reaves (left foot)
F – Francis Atuahene (left calf)
F – Santiago Mosquera (left hamstring)
- Collin Martin, Sam Cronin, Jacori Hayes, Brandon Servania and Ema Twumasi all played for Wake Forest in college.
- Hayes and Martin are both natives of Maryland.
- Ghana natives Abu Danladi and Twumasi came up through the Right to Dream Academy before playing NCAA soccer.
- Wyatt Omsberg and Servania have both gone on loan to Tulsa Roughnecks this season.
- Danladi and Reggie Cannon were teammates at UCLA in 2016. Ryan Hollingshead also attended UCLA during his college career.
- Marc Burch, Cronin and Maynor Figueroa played together for Colorado Rapids during the 2015 season.
- Ethan Finlay, Miguel Ibarra and Matt Hedges have all been capped by the U.S. national team.
- FC Dallas assistant Marco Ferruzzi played two seasons for the Minnesota Thunder (2003–04). He made 47 appearances and scored eight goals.
- MNUFC has scored in each of its past six games, the longest scoring streak since the club joined MLS. It has 15 goals and 10 points in that run.
- Darwin Quintero is on a six-game point streak of his own. His assist on Michael Boxall’s goal vs. LA Galaxy continued his stellar run of form and the longest individual point streak in club history. Quintero has four goals and seven assists during that span.
- Quintero’s assist vs. LA Galaxy brought him to nine on the season, tying the club single-season record of nine assists set by Kevin Molino in 2017.
- Boxall scored his first career MLS goal vs. LA Galaxy. It was his first point in four MLS seasons.
- Romario Ibarra also opened his MLS goal account vs. LA Galaxy, scoring the tying goal to secure a point for the Loons on the road.
- With the draw vs. LA Galaxy, the Loons ended an eight-game losing run on the road. It was the first time the club claimed points away from TCF Bank Stadium since March 10.
- MNUFC will be without defender Francisco Calvo and midfielder Collen Warner in Dallas. Calvo was ejected with a second yellow card against LA Galaxy, while Warner reached the yellow-card accumulation limit against the same opponent. Both will serve a one-game suspension.
- Dallas’ Reto Ziegler will be unavailable due to a red card received in the 2-1 defeat against Seattle Sounders FC last weekend.
- Ziegler leads MLS with three red cards in 2018.
- Rasmus Schuller (49) and Dominique Badji (45) have committed the most fouls in MLS this season.
- Badji, Michael Barrios and Quintero are three of 10 players with hat tricks in 2018.
- Miguel Ibarra continues to be the most accurate player in MLS with 68.0 percent of his shots ending up on goal.
- Maximiliano Urruti has taken 83 shots, the fourth-most in MLS.
- Roland Lamah has four game-winning goals this year, including one against the Loons on June 29.
- Dallas has two goalkeepers in the top 10 in MLS for save percentage. Jimmy Maurer (74.4 percent) and Jesse Gonzalez (70.6 percent) are among the best goalkeepers in the league.
- Both MNUFC and Dallas have had four players ejected this season.
- MNUFC has the second-highest scoring percentage in MLS, with 14.7 percent of its chances ending up in the back of the net.
- The 102 saves by MNUFC goalkeepers is the second-most in the league.