MINNESOTA UNITED vs. REAL SALT LAKE
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota
09.27.2020 | MLS Week No. 13 | MLS Game No. 14
7:00 p.m. CT (FOX Sports North, FOX Sports GO, MNUFC Radio on SKOR North)
RSL: 4-4-5 (1–1-2 on the road)
MIN: 5-5-3 (2-1-0 at home)
For just the second time in the 2020 regular season, Minnesota United have back-to-back home games, and the upcoming tilts against Real Salt Lake and FC Cincinnati are just their fourth and fifth at Allianz Field overall. The tempo of games gets no easier, though, as MNUFC have had to compensate for injuries to starters while also incorporating new players like midfielder Emanuel Reynoso, defender Bakaye Dibassy and forward Kei Kamara without having the chance to work on tactics due to the compressed schedule. Still, against a dominant Columbus Crew SC who have only allowed four goals on the season, the Loons held their own, coming up an inch (or maybe even less) short on an offside call to snatch a road point at the death. They’ll no doubt be looking forward to some home cooking against RSL after they walloped them 4-0 way back in … *checks notes* … three weeks ago. MNUFC have slid to seventh in the Western Conference, but in this most unusual of seasons, remain just three points off of first place Seattle while also being just three points up from being out of the playoffs altogether. The Loons will need every point they can get their hands on to stay in the hunt.
The last few weeks have been feast or famine for the Claret-and-Cobalt. After getting pasted by Minnesota 4-0 at Allianz Field, RSL turned around and dropped three goals on LAFC without a response at home. Then the Rapids came into their building and put up five while allowing none. They then lost to a Vancouver Whitecaps team with eight losses at home before shutting out a surging LA Galaxy side 2-0. In short, Real Salt Lake are searching for consistency right now while MNUFC are looking for an emphatic result after getting a win, a draw and two losses in their last four, all by a point (or less, obviously). With the Loons having won every game against RSL at home in their time in MLS, it seems an ideal time and opponent to get Minnesota’s attack firing on all cylinders once again.
AARON SCHOENFELD ON PLAYING AT HOME
“You’re in the home market, you know that the supporters are all watching, home or away obviously. But I think, especially in this moment with how the travel is in the league, flying in and out on the day of, it’s such a big advantage of a home game.”
ADRIAN HEATH ON PREPARING FOR REAL SALT LAKE
“There’s no set way of doing it. It’s too many games in a short period of time. Sometimes I feel for the players a little bit because it’s 36 hours after a game, you’re still recovering and then you’re on a plane to another game so it’s not ideal but it’s going to be the same for everybody. Hopefully we get a few more bodies fit, it’s been nice to see a few of the guys running around who we haven’t had for the last couple weeks. We need a clean bill of a health and if we do, our depth of squad will show out towards the end of the month.”MORE
Minnesota United has had Real Salt Lake’s number thus far in the teams’ shared history in MLS. In their inaugural season, it was RSL who fell to the Loons 4-2 at TCF Bank Stadium to give Minnesota their first MLS win and since then, MNUFC have only failed to take points from a game against the Claret-and-Cobalt once, back on June 17, 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium. In all, Minnesota has a 4-1-3 record against their upcoming opponents, including a scoreless draw in the Group Stage of the MLS Is Back Tournament. It’s the sort of stat that can either make you feel confident in a continued trend or concerned that RSL is due to crack the code one of these times and sneak away with a win.
Dayne St. Clair made his first career MLS start against RSL. He made three saves to claim his first win and first shutout as well.
SOUND OF THE LOONS: WONDERCAL