MINNESOTA UNITED vs. FC CINCINNATI
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota
10.03.2020 | MLS Week No. 15 | MLS Game No. 15
7:00 p.m. CT (FOX Sports North, FOX Sports GO, MNUFC Radio on SKOR North)
CIN: 3-7-4 (2-6-0 on the road)
MIN: 5-5-4 (2-1-1 at home)
Coming off a strong second-half performance against Real Salt Lake that saw Minnesota outshoot and outpossess the Claret-and-Cobalt yet still come away with just a point from a scoreless draw, the Loons are hoping that the second game of their home back-to-back will find the attack clicking like it did in 2019 against the Orange and Blue when MNUFC hung seven on the then-expansion side. With a full week between games with no travel, the Loons should be able to fully rest the guys who need it while also getting in some much-needed time working on tactics on the pitch. New additions Emanuel Reynoso and Kei Kamara look more settled game by game and if Minnesota’s defense can hold the line as they did in the clean sheet against RSL, it’s only a matter of time before the chemistry of the front four starts producing finishing as well as chance creation.
FC Cincinnati had a rocky start to their second season in MLS, parting ways with Head Coach Ron Jans following allegations of racist language just weeks before the season began and then, well, you’ve seen how the MLS season as a whole has gone. Currently averaging less than a point a game, the Orange and Blue are on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason and they will need help, both from other teams in the hunt getting worse and from their own attack, which has only mustered eight goals on the season. Designated Players Jurgen Locadia and Yuya Kubo have not produced as expected, managing just three goals between them in 2020.
MICHAEL BOXALL ON FC CINCY
“I think we’ve kind of underperformed in recent weeks and not gotten out of games what we expect of ourselves. We can’t take anyone lightly at all and especially at home, we need to take as many points as possible. With this week, we need to get as much work as we can in our legs, feeling fresh into Saturday and really get after Cincinnati because it’s a big three points with the West so tight.”
ADRIAN HEATH ON THE “NEXT MAN UP” MENTALITY
“The offseason acquisitions of three or four sort of people who are used to playing in the MLS were huge. We’ve had a few more numbers back today in training which is nice. Hopefully, if we can get nearly everybody fit and healthy for this next month because, we’ve got seven games in October, it’s going to be tough and everybody is going to be needed. As you said, it’s next man up, it’s a great opportunity for people to show what they can do.”MORE
Who are Minnesota United? Right now, the team has five wins, five losses and four draws across a variety of kinds of games from two early road victories to a strong run in the MLS Is Back Tournament to a shaky record after the restart. Fully healthy, they’re likely one of the top three teams in the Western Conference. Their recent additions look great on paper but still need time to acclimate to the team as a whole. And who knows if they will ever get back to full health this season? At this point, the bottom line for the team and their playoff hopes is that they have to start getting wins at home and stealing a few on the road if they want to work their way back up to having homefield advantage in the playoffs. With an unflattering road record of 0-4-1 since the season resumed in local markets, the Loons will absolutely need the home cooking provided by Allianz Field if they hope to advance in the postseason.
Jan Gregus provided three assists — the gentleman’s hat trick — last time out against FC Cincinnati.
SOUND OF THE LOONS: CAMPING