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Recap: Loons attack rejuvenated in 4-1 Open Cup victory over SKC

A brace from Darwin Quintero and goals from Angelo Rodriguez and Ethan Finlay blazed the way.

June 12, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United forward Angelo Rodriguez (9) scores the opening goal during the US Open Cup match between Minnesota United and Sporting KC at Allianz Field.
June 12, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United forward Angelo Rodriguez (9) scores the opening goal during the US Open Cup match between Minnesota United and Sporting KC at Allianz Field.
(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

On a quiet night at Allianz Field, it was Minnesota United’s attack that appeared reinvigorated as the Loons eliminated Midwest rivals Sporting Kansas City from the US Open Cup by a 4-1 scoreline.

The Loons were without several usual starters for the game, but manager Adrian Heath nonetheless deployed a fairly strong starting lineup. Chase Gasper started at left back and Hassani Dotson returned to a more typical role in central midfield, where he was joined by Lawrence Olum and Collin Martin. Typical starters Ethan Finlay, Darwin Quintero and Angelo Rodriguez comprised the attacking three, in the hopes that United’s offense could find some positive action.

If there was any concern about the structural integrity of Minnesota’s attack, it was promptly dismissed by forward Angelo Rodriguez, who gave the Loons a very early lead by scoring through the legs of Kansas City goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas. The goal was United’s first in the US Open Cup since joining MLS in 2017.

As has so often been the case, the Loons’ lead was not built to last. SKC forward Gerso Fernandes sent a running shot straight into the ground and bouncing up past goalkeeper Vito Mannone to level the game.

Quick goals seemed to be the theme of the night for Minnesota. Right out of the gate in the second half, Hassani Dotson sent the ball to Ethan Finlay, who put some flashy orange shoes to use by giving United another lead.

It was, apparently, also a night for the snapping of slumps. Just before the hour mark Rodriguez dribbled into the box and crossed to Darwin Quintero, who was wide open on the other side of the goal. Quintero hadn’t scored in well over 500 minutes of play, but found a successful finish to extend the Loons’ lead.

Quintero added another in the 67th minute. He beat Zendejas one-on-one after the ‘keeper came charging off his line, but waited for an onrushing defender to slide past before calming putting the ball in the back of the night.

Rodriguez hit the back of the net again moments later, resulting in “Baby Shark” playing throughout the stadium and chants of “We want 13” from the Wonderwall, but the goal was called back for offside. Mason Toye replaced Rodriguez shortly after.

With 10 minutes to play, Eric Miller took a seat for Carter Manley.