MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. COLORADO RAPIDS
TCF Bank Stadium | Minneapolis, Minnesota
10.13.2018 | MLS Week No. 33 | MLS Game No. 32
1:00 p.m. CT (FOX Sports North, FOX Sports GO, MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN)
COL: 6-19-6, 1-11-3 on the road
MIN: 11-17-3, 10-4-1 at home
Following a disheartening loss in Philadelphia that eliminated the team from playoff contention, Minnesota United heads home for its final homestand of the season and at TCF Bank Stadium. First up is Colorado, a team that has struggled as mightily on the road as MNUFC, and the Loons will be hoping to gain momentum going into their final home game next week against a Rapids team that’s scored a league-worst 32 goals, lost seven in a row and allowed 22 goals in that losing streak.
This Saturday’s match kicks off at 1:00 p.m. CT with pregame coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. on FOX Sports North, streaming on FOX Sports GO and on MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN.
Although the playoffs are out of reach for the Loons, there’s a lot to play for many members of the squad. This is a team that’s still evolving and players like Eric Miller know that if they want to be an integral part of it as MNUFC looks ahead to its first season in Allianz Field, they had better leave it all on the field in these final games.
“For a lot of guys there is still a ton to play for,” said Miller, “whether that is getting your option picked up, trying to get a new contract for next year or trying to impress the staff or other people around the club for next year. There is still a ton to play for. Guys are still playing for their jobs and a lot of stuff for next season.”
Head Coach Adrian Heath is wrestling with the fact that however the team has changed over the course of the season through the acquisition or departure of players either permanently or temporarily due to injuries and international call-ups, the team as constructed continues to cough up goals and then points on the road. Heath was expecting better than the 5-1 defeat in Philadelphia after two strong home showings and a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake.
“I thought we put those types of performances on the road behind us,” said Heath. “That was not a fair barometer of what we have been on the road of late. Usually you’re disappointed individually or collectively, but I don’t think we did ourselves justice in any shape or form.”
To bounce back, Heath will have to call on some reserves as he’ll be without several key players this week. Both midfielder Rasmus Schuller and defender Francisco Calvo have been called up for international duty with their respective countries and stalwart goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth is out with a back issue, likely meaning a return to Matt Lampson, who opened the season as the starting goalkeeper before wrestling with some injury issues.
Miller — who was on the bench during the loss to Philly — will be looking to get back into action in order to take on his former team for the first time since being traded to Minnesota earlier in the season.
“I am super excited to have the opportunity to play against them,” he said. “I missed the game when we went to Colorado, which was a bummer. I am really looking forward to going up against some guys I trained a lot against and trying to have a good impact on the game.”
Minnesota United FC
M – Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction)
M – Ethan Finlay (right ACL tear – out for season)
M – Kevin Molino (left ACL tear – out for season)
M – Collin Martin (right ankle)
GK – Bobby Shuttleworth (back)
F – Romario Ibarra (right leg)
F – Abu Danladi (right leg)
M – Sam Nicholson (back)
M – Jack McBean (foot/toe injury)
D – Kortne Ford (knee injury)
- Sam Nicholson played for MNUFC before being traded to Colorado Rapids in exchange for Eric Miller and $50,000 in General Allocation Money on May 2, 2018.
- Marc Burch and Sam Cronin were also members of Colorado before being traded to Minnesota in 2017.
- Jerome Thiesson and Shkelzen Gashi are both natives of Zurich, Switzerland.
- Collen Warner is a native of Denver, Colorado.
- Mason Toye and Tim Howard are both from New Jersey. Toye was born in South Orange, just 30 miles from Howard’s hometown of North Brunswick.
- Michael Boxall, Kip Colvey and Deklan Wynne are all members of the New Zealand national team. Colorado Head Coach Anthony Hudson managed the All Whites from 2014 to 2017.
- Nana Boateng graduated from the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana, where he and Abu Danladi played until 2011.
- Collin Martin and Andrew Dryska were a part of the D.C. United organization from 2013 through 2016. Both spent time on loan with Richmond Kickers.
- Darwin Quintero scored his 11th goal of the season in the 5-1 loss at Philadelphia Union on Saturday, October 6. It was his first goal in six appearances.
- Quintero is on a four-game point streak, with one goal and four assists during that stretch.
- Ángelo Rodríguez assisted Quintero’s goal at Philadelphia. It was his first assist since joining the Loons.
- Francisco Calvo (Costa Rica) and Rasmus Schuller (Finland) have received call-ups to their respective national teams. Calvo will play Mexico (October 11) and Colombia (October 16) in friendlies, while Schuller will meet Estonia (October 12) and Greece (October 15) in UEFA Nations League play. Romario Ibarra was also called up to the Ecuador national team, but did not make the trip to Qatar and Oman as he continues to rehab a right leg injury.
- MNUFC has scored six goals in its past three home games, all of which came in the first half.
- If MNUFC scores vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday, October 13, it will tie its longest overall scoring streak of six games. It will also break its home scoring streak record, extending its run to eight games.
- Miguel Ibarra scored his first career MLS goal against Colorado. He scored the lone goal in a 1-0 home win for the Loons on April 23, 2017.
- Ibarra is the only current MNUFC player with multiple goals vs. Colorado.
- Ibson (1A), Marc Burch (1A), Sam Cronin (1G/3A), Ethan Finlay (1G), Ibarra (2G/1A), Kevin Molino (1G), Quintero (1A), Jerome Thiesson (1A) and Collen Warner (1A) have career points vs. Colorado.
- The Rapids were one of the original MLS teams during the inaugural 1996 season. They have made the postseason 13 times in their history, reaching the MLS Cup Final twice and winning it in 2010. They have not reached the playoffs since 2016.
- Both MNUFC and Colorado have been eliminated from MLS Cup Playoff contention.
- MNUFC and Colorado have swapped six players since the Loons joined MLS in 2017. Burch, Cronin and Eric Miller all came to the club via trades with the Rapids and are still on the roster. Through those deals, Colorado received Josh Gatt, Mohammed Saeid and Sam Nicholson. Nicholson is the only one still active with Colorado.