Minnesota United continues its busy August with an out of conference game against Orlando City tonight at 7 PM, with coverage starting at 6:30 on Fox Sports North and SKOR North. The Loons have had a productive summer, advancing to the US Open Cup Final and rising to second in the western conference.
Orlando has been inconsistent in the Eastern Conference, currently one place out of a playoff spot. Orlando City has fought hard in away games, earning a 3-5-5 record on the road. The biggest issue for the Loons will likely be Nani, who has played 22 games for Orlando since his signing and has scored eight goals and four assists.
The matchup is rich in history, a rare occurrence for two fairly new MLS teams. Adrian Heath and Ian Fuller both were on the Orlando staff while in the USL and in the early MLS days, and Kevin Molino had a successful four years with the Lions earning two USL MVP awards. The match has some MLS history as well: the Loons have never lost to Orlando in MLS play — a surprising feat. Kevin Molino also tore his ACL the last time the two sides met.
For Minnesota, the lineup should be pretty consistent with what it has been. However, Mason Toye is serving his suspension, and Ozzie Alonso is listed as questionable with a leg injury, and with the US Open Cup final in sight, it seems unlikely that Heath would give him many minutes if any. Dotson would be the obvious replacement, especially after a poor performance by Lawrence Olum against Houston.
Loonum Staff Predictions:
John Stephenson: 3-0 Loons
Ashle Norling: 2-0 Loons
Seth Steffenhagen: 2-1 Loons
Zak Lippert: 3-1 Loons
Jacob Schneider: 4-2 Loons