With its draw on Wednesday night, Minnesota United secured enough points to book a trip into the Round of 16 Matchup in the MLS is Back Tournament. The Loons finished the group stage with five points, good for second behind Sporting Kansas City (six points) and just ahead of Real Salt Lake (four points). Minnesota United remains as one of the few unbeaten teams left in MLS and will match up against another unbeaten squad and early Supporters' Shield leaders in the Columbus Crew this upcoming Tuesday, July 28. That match is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN and SKOR North locally.
Round of Sixteen Matchup Details
Opponent: Colombus Crew (4-0-1)
Date: Tuesday, July 28
Time: 7:00 p.m. CT
Broadcast: ESPN & SKOR NORTH
The Crew have impressed in the tournament so far, albeit in a surprisingly weak group. Atlanta United (zero points) and New York Red Bulls (three points) put up little fight against a well-organized Columbus Crew and last year's Wooden Spoon winning FC Cincinnati (six points) conceded four goals as The Crew comfortably finished top of the group with the tournament's join-largest margin of victory. The Crew have been impressive, scoring nine goals in 2020 while conceding just once, and would be a difficult matchup for any draw.
Minnesota United has been turning over its squad throughout the tournament and has yet to hit full steam, with Luis Amarilla recovering from an early tournament strain, Kevin Molino and Osvaldo Alonso nursing small knocks and Defender of the Year Ike Opara staying home from the tournament altogether. Despite the odds against, MNUFC managed to secure three points against the Western Conference leading Sporting Kansas City in its opening group matchup and earned two more points in draws versus Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids, all of whom went into the tournament undefeated.
Moving out of the group stage, where games played counted against the regular season standings and into the Round of Sixteen where game results will not affect the overall standings, both teams have everything left to play for. While Columbus holds a slight edge in the series matchup, the Loons got the better of The Crew in their last meeting, with Ethan Finlay scoring against his former team to secure three points for Minnesota united.