After being held off the board in the first two meetings between these teams, Minnesota United shocked the New York Red Bulls with a triumphant road win just before opening Allianz Field in 2019. Here are some significant stats from the Loons first-ever victory over the Red Bulls.
49: Successful Passes by Jan Gregus
The Slovakia international began to take the role of playmaker in the middle of the field for Minnesota in the vital win over the Red Bulls. Gregus led the team in passing on the night, including 20 successful passes in the home team’s half.
35: MNUFC Clearances
Minnesota spent most of the game on the defensive side of the ball, with just 36.9% possession on the night. To hold off the Red Bulls, the Loons needed to boot the ball to relieve pressure. This forced their opponents to reset and regroup, killing precious seconds off the clock.
11: Aerials Won by MNUFC Defenders
The aerial advantage was key for Minnesota’s success on both ends of the field in 2019, and was present in its win over the Red Bulls. The five defensive players on the field were dominant in the air, mainly locking down the defensive penalty area to shut down corners and crosses from the wings. Ike Opara, Michael Boxall and Brent Kallman led the way with three aerial wins each.
5: Romain Metanire Interceptions
Metanire was a revelation for the Loons as a wing back, flying up and down the right side of the field to attack and rushing back to defend, usually with a spectacular slide tackle. On this night though, the Madagascar international was breaking up plays without upending opponents. He cut off five Red Bull passes, and also contributed to the opening goal for Minnesota.
4: Successful tackles by Ike Opara
Opara’s veteran presence was a wonderful addition to the 2019 squad and made life difficult for opposing attackers. As a team, the Loons made 16 successful tackles on the night, 25% of those were contributed by Opara as he centered a five-man backline for Minnesota.