- When? Saturday, August 17, 2018, 7:00 CT
- Where? Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
- Broadcast? Fox Sports North Plus
It isn’t complicated—they need a win. Both Minnesota United and FC Dallas will desperately be looking to add another W to their win columns this Saturday as they square off for the second and final time during the regular season. Dallas, at the top of the standings in the Western Conference, is now only three meager points ahead of Sporting KC. The Loons are six points away from a playoff spot as of now, and with only 10 games left in the season, the team can’t afford to lose many more if they want to see the postseason.
Minnesota will have a difficult time, however, as injuries have ravaged the team’s lineup and two players, Collen Warner and Francisco Calvo, are suspended on accumulation of yellow cards and will not be in the lineup Saturday.
Another terrifying thought is the possible absence of powerhouse Darwin Quintero. The Columbian forward hasn’t been participated in practice for the last two days with a calf strain. Head coach Adrian Heath has called Quintero “day-to-day” and hopeful he will be able to play in Texas.
#MNUFC’s Darwin Quintero absent from Loons training again Friday, which doesn’t bode well for his availability against FC Dallas on Saturday. Adrian Heath will be asked to address this before their flight to Texas.— Andy Greder (@andygreder) August 17, 2018
FC Dallas has been a powerhouse at home this season with a 7-1-4 record at Toyota Park, the best home record in the West. Compare that with Minnesota’s away record (1-9-1), and the path to a win for the Loons may be a difficult one.
However, Dallas is currently in its first losing streak of the season and looking to avoid another defeat at home after a loss to the Seattle Sounders 2-1 on August 12.
They will also be missing one player to suspension, as defender Reto Ziegler was sent off with a straight red during extra time against Seattle. Ziegler was enraged after forward Raul Ruidiaz appeared to throw his head back into Ziegler on a throw in.
This is a headbutt from Ruidiaz and a brutal flop, then Ziegler gets red carded. Just horrendous all around pic.twitter.com/dNX1Denun9— Born Salty (@cjzero) August 13, 2018
Video assistant referee (VAR) was not used on the play. Ziegler’s suspension was appealed by FC Dallas but was unsuccessful, so he will not be in the lineup on Saturday. Each team in the MLS gets two unsuccessful appeals per season.
Players to Watch
Roland Lamah—The midfielder leads the team in goals with 8 and was the lone scorer of the goal against Minnesota United in the teams’ first meeting.
Dominique Badji—Badji scored in his debut with FC Dallas against Seattle and will be looking to take advantage of a Calvo-less back line of Minnesota.
Angelo Rodriguez—In his second start with Minnesota United in last week’s game, the new acquisition was impressive, getting close to goal on more than one opportunity. He’ll be looking for the back of the net at every opportunity.
Michael Boxall—The New Zealander scored his first MLS goal last week and will need to protect the back with Calvo out on suspension.
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