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Preview: Minnesota United vs Houston Dynamo

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After a COVID scare and negative tests MNUFC finally comes back to the field

Ashle Norling/E Pluribus Loonum

After two game cancellations in a row Minnesota United will finally return to the pitch tonight at home in St. Paul. The Loons face Houston Dynamo for the third and final time in 2020. Minnesota had their Wednesday match against Chicago postponed at the last minute. Since both the FC Dallas and Chicago matches were postponed this will be the Loons first time on the pitch since October 6th against Nashville SC.

Run of Form:

Minnesota comes in on a much better run than their opponents tonight. The Loons are 1-1-3 in their last five matches. On a positive note the club has three clean sheets and have only allowed four goals in that stretch. Impressive for a team with the injuries they have. On the negative front is scoring. MNUFC has only scored 5 goals in those five matches and have been shut out twice. Earlier this week Coach Steve went over how the Loons can fix the scoring issue, which you can check out here.

On the other hand Houston Dynamo, who they are seeing for the third time this season, have been struggling pretty badly as of late. A 1-3-1 record in their last five matches, with Dynamo’s only win coming as a 2-0 clean sheet victory over FC Dallas. Inverse of Minnesota, Houston’s defense has struggled and allowed 7 goals over those five games. However the offense is just as proficient as Minnesota scoring 5 goals in 5 games.

You can check out The Loonigan’s full scouting report on the Dynamo here.

Manager Thoughts:

The Loons come in not only short on matches, having not played in 12 days, but also not having much practice together in that time span either.. Adrian Heath addressed this right away in his pre match presser on Saturday afternoon.

“The frustrating part for me and for the group at the moment is would we have liked a few days rest? Maybe, it would have been nice. Suddenly now I look and in two weeks we’ve had two sessions together. Like this morning we trained in groups of five. Which the day before a game is never ideal. It is what it is, we have to get one, we can’t use this as an excuse. We are looking forward to getting back to playing again.”

Other Notes:

This is mostly unchanged from the Preview of Minnesota vs Chicago as not much has changed since that match was to have been played. Ján Greguš is out for what could possibly be the rest of the regular season due to International duty, Minnesota will be looking at their other midfielders to bring that spark to the team. Emmanuel Reynoso will not only be looked at for his set piece skills but also to help break open the attack. With Ethan Finlay returning to the team from injury, the Duluth native should also help bring a spark to the team and the attack. Both things the Loons desperately need.

Osvaldo Alonso is looking more and more like he may return at any time, and the addition of Ozzie back to the lineup would for sure help the defensive midfield in Heath’s preferred 4-2-3-1. Dayne St. Clair has also eclipsed Vito Mannone’s 259 minute streak without giving up a goal. The youngster has gone 290 minutes heading into tonight’s match with Houston and he could potentially obliterate the record by more than 100 minutes pending his performance tonight. But considering the scoring abilities of both Christian Ramirez and Darwin Quintero that will be a tough task.

As noted Houston will look for former Loons, Christian Ramirez and Darwin Quintero to make an impact for them against their former team. Quintero leads Houston with 6 goals on the season, three times more than anyone else on the squad.

Injury Report:

Minnesota United FC

  • Questionable: Greg Ranjitsingh
  • Out: Tyler Miller, Ike Opara, and Luis Amarilla

Houston Dynamo

  • Questionable: None
  • Out: Michael Salazar