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Preview: Minnesota United at FC Cincinnati

The season starts to wind down for the Loons, and Minnesota has a must win match in Cincinnati tonight.

Ashle Norling/E Pluribus Loonum

After returning last weekend against Houston Dynamo following two COVID-19 match postponements, Minnesota United faces FC Cincinnati tonight after a week off. This is the second time the Loons will face the Ohio, Eastern Conference team for the second time in this very weird 2020 season.

Run of Form:

MNUFC’s run of form in their last five has stayed consistent from week to week. Last week the Loons were 1-1-3 in their last five and heading into tonight the Loons are 1-1-3 as well. The draw against Houston last week kept that consistent. Minnesota is also sitting currently in fifth place with 24 points on the season. However if MLS decides to go with a points per game format the Loons would drop down to 6th place.

FC Cincinnati on the other hand actually somehow has a worse run of form that MNUFC. The Orange and Blue are 1-4-0 in their last five matches, with their only win being 10 days ago against Columbus Crew SC. Cincinnati are sitting in 13th in the Eastern Conference, 4 points back from the final playoff spot in the East.

You can check out Steven Bichler’s full scouting report here.

Manager Thoughts:

The Orange and Blue are having a tough 2020 season. Cincy is 4-11-4 overall, 1-2-4 at home at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Adrian Heath gave the struggling side a good prop up in his pre-match press conference this week.

“They’ve been good at home. They beat Columbus a few weeks ago. And narrowly got beat by Toronto — it was 1-nil and they thought they got a penalty in the last minute, which, they probably deserved, with their second half performance. So, you know, they’ve got some good footballers and they can hurt you. I’m more concerned with us. Can we approach the game in a positive manner? And, if we do, I think we’re more than enough to go and get a result. Because we’re at that stage of the season now. Five to go. We know every game is going to be important.”

Other Notes:

We know from last week that Ján Greguš is back in the states after his UEFA National League international duty with Slovakia. Per a report earlier this week from the Star Tribune, Greguš could be making his return as soon as tonight. Of course pending any other quarantine restrictions he has.

Ozzie Alonso came back last week, working nearly a full 90 minutes after Hassani Dotson was subbed out early due to an ankle injury. This was definately not the plan from the get go was for him to play almost a full match in his return.

“You know, the idea was maybe give him 10 minutes if we were lucky. Heath said post match last week “We certainly weren’t expecting him to play, what was it, 70 minutes or maybe more”

Speaking of the Hassani Dotson incident, we may be seeing him out longer than expected. Last week Heath told the media ““Well, it looks really, really swollen.” and “it doesn’t look good for Hassani at the moment.”

That statement is proving right as Heath said his ankle is still swollen and with only a few matches left to play we may not see Dotson for the rest of 2020.

On the other hand Houston’s Adam Lundkvist was issued a two game suspension due to the tackle. This will keep Lundkvist out of tonight’s match against Columbus and Wednesday’s against LAFC.

Injury Report:

Minnesota United FC

  • Questionable: None
  • Out: Tyler Miller, Ike Opara, Luis Amarilla, and Hassani Dotson

FC Cincinnati

  • Questionable: None
  • Out: Greg Garza, Przemyslaw Tyton, Mathieu Deplagne, and Saad Abdul-Salaam