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Preview: Minnesota vs Colorado

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MNUFC will look to pounce on a Colorado team who is behind on match fitness due to a month without matches.

Ashle Norling/E Pluribus Loonum

Minnesota United enters the final two weeks and four matches of the shortened 2020 MLS season tonight against Colorado Rapids. This home clash is one that both teams really want and need to win. The Loons only have two wins since the middle of September and are looking to right the ship in terms of points. Colorado on the other hand is coming off a totally different scenario due to match cancellations due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Run of Form:

Minnesota has gotten partially back on the right track in the last month, going from a 2-5-1 record after the MLS Is Back Tournament until late September. Since 9/27, which is also the Loons last five, the team is now 2-0-3 in that span. A healthy improvement over where they were prior. One issue the club is still having is scoring goals. And with Kei Kamara out today due to a “Gentleman’s Agreement” between the clubs, it does not look good on the attack for Minnesota.

Colorado on the other hand is in a very odd situation. Their run of form in the last five matches is 3-0-2 but that number is extremely deceiving. Colorado was 3-0-1 in September but then had a literal months worth of matches cancelled or postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The Rapids have only played one match since re-entering league play. That match was a 4-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City this past Saturday night.

You can read Coach Steve’s Scouting Report from yesterday to get more of a view on the Loons upcoming foe.

Manager Thoughts:

As noted above Colorado is in a tough situation right now. a COVID outbreak, an entire month’s worth of matches postponed or cancelled. It’s not ideal for the Rapids. However while acknowledging that Heath is also not under-estimating the team for tonight.

“It’s been a really tough stretch for them. There’s no getting away from that. But, they’ll obviously be better for that game at the weekend. Obviously, going to Kansas is never easy, they’re a very, very good team. The league table doesn’t lie, that’s why they’re at the top of the table. It was always going to be a sort of baptism by fire, if you like, for them to get back on. Not only back playing, but back on the road away at Kansas. I think they’ll actually be better for that 90 minutes under their belt. And, Robin [Fraser] has done a great job since he’s been there. We expect them to come and be difficult because they are in a situation like us where every point now is precious in these last little couple of weeks of the season.”

Other Notes:

Ján Greguš made his return from International Duty on Saturday against FC Cincinnati and will be expected to continue to make an impact for the Loons.

Hassani Dotson is still out tonight after suffering an ankle injury against Houston Dynamo, his return right now is unknown.

Per The Athletic’s Jeff Reuter Minnesota United has signed LB Sam Gleadle to the squad. Gleadle played for Reno 1868 this season in the USL Championship and has also already begun a mandatory 10 day quarantine. He would be cleared to join the club for the Decision Day finale on November 8th against FC Dallas.

As noted earlier Kei Kamara will not be eligible to play tonight against Colorado Rapids. This is due to a “gentleman’s agreement” between the clubs where he would not play in the league fixture. Adrian Heath stated yesterday:

“Kei’s not available for tomorrow because that was an agreement we made with Colorado when we took him that he wouldn’t play in the league game. But if we were to play them in the playoffs, he would be eligible.”

This almost certainly means that Aaron Schoenfeld will step into the number 9 spot atop of the formation.

Injury Report:

Minnesota United FC

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

Colorado Rapids

  • Questionable:
  • Out: Kortne Ford, Kellyn Acosta, Braian Galvan, and Collen Warner