MINNESOTA UNITED vs. HOUSTON DYNAMO
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota
10.18.2020 | MLS Week No. 19 | MLS Game No. 19
7:00 p.m. CT (FOX Sports North, FOX Sports GO, MNUFC Radio on SKOR North)
HOU: 4-7-7 (1-5-4 on the road)
MIN: 6-5-5 (3-1-1 at home)
Following two postponed games due to positive and/or inconclusive COVID-19 tests, Minnesota United prepare to host Houston Dynamo at Allianz Field on Sunday. In a season that’s already been turned upside down and in which the Loons have had to deal with injuries to key starters, more absences due to coronavirus will hit even harder. While Houston have been a notoriously tough out in their house — MNUFC have only taken two points in six trips to Space City — the Dynamo have been paper tigers in the Twin Cities, having taken just one point from three visits. If there’s a silver lining to missing two games, it could be an extra spell of rest for players like Ethan Finlay, Kevin Molino, Osvaldo Alonso and anyone else who’s freshly back from or about to come back from injury.
Houston have had another up and down season, with good results at home giving way to poor results on the road that sometimes carry over to BBVA Stadium. After restarting the season with two draws and three wins, the Dynamo now have just one win in their last eight games, including a home loss to Nashville SC in which the visitors scored multiple goals on the road for the first time all season. It’s clear that they miss Alberth Elis following the winger’s move to Portugal’s Boavista and that their defense, which has never been a strong suit, cannot be carried by the offense alone. Nevertheless, while they remain outside of the playoffs for now, catching fire at the right time could vault them up into contention and they remain a dangerous offensive foe.
Yo... It’s snowing fr fr in Minnesota right now 🙃— Ra (@Rvheem_) October 16, 2020
With an already compressed schedule bearing down on them, it’s going to be a challenge for the Loons to make up the games against FC Dallas and Chicago Fire FC that were postponed this past week. Any hope of getting in a full week of training and rest seems to have flown out the window, so it will be more important than ever for MNUFC to find a rich vein of form and stay in it down the stretch. As of this writing, two points separate the last playoff slot from second-to-last place in the Western Conference, so it’s all to play for. Minnesota will have to make the most of every home game and at least hold the line on the road if they hope to climb up the table for a coveted homefield advantage come playoffs.
Dayne St. Clair has not allowed a goal in 290 minutes, the longest goalless run in the club’s MLS tenure. He surpassed Vito Mannone’s previous record of 259 minutes.
Minnesota United FC
- OUT: GK – Tyler Miller (hip surgery)
- OUT: D – Ike Opara (not medically cleared)
- OUR: F – Luis Amarilla (ankle injury)
- OUT: GK – Greg Ranjitsingh (not medically cleared)
- QUESTIONABLE: M – Osvaldo Alonso (undisclosed injury)
- OUT: F – Michael Salazar (right knee injury)
LOON DIVE: KEI KAMARA