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Preview: Minnesota United vs Colorado Rapids

Can the Loons win their first playoff match since joining MLS?

Ashle Norling/E Pluribus Loonum

Two weeks ago Minnesota United finished off the 2020 Major League Soccer season with a huge 3-0 win over FC Dallas. That win secured the Loons a home match in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. The insanity that was Decision Day for the Western Conference would end with Colorado getting the number five seed and the slot to play MNUFC.

Run of Form:

Minnesota comes into the clubs seconds MLS Cup Playoffs match with a 3-0-2 record in their last five matches. Those last five also includes a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. The Loons are riding an eight match unbeaten and have just lost one match at home in 2020. With this being a playoff match if it goes through full time and extra time it would then go to penalties, something MNUFC have never lost on since joining MLS.

Colorado on the other hand comes in only having played five matches since returning from their month off after a COVID outbreak occurred on the team. In those five matches the Rapids are 3-2-0 in that span. Both losses occurred in the Rapids first two matches back, losing to Sporting Kansas City 4-0 then losing to MNUFC 2-1. Since they the Rapids went on a tear to end the season, beating Seattle Sounders 3-1, then Portland Timbers 1-0, before ending the regular season with a 2-1 last minute win over Houston Dynamo.

Manager Thoughts:

Adrian Heath is taking the playoff match with utter seriousness and not under-estimating the Rapids. Saying earlier this week on the Rapids:

“As I said when we played them, they’ve had a difficult spell with the COVID but the plus side of that, if there is a positive, is the fact they’re probably fresh. They had five or six weeks where they didn’t really play and they’ve come back refreshed. You can see that, they’re a good team, they’ve got good energy at this moment, playing with a lot of confidence. And the game where we won the game, it was very, very tight. I don’t expect it to be any different at the weekend. We’re going to have to play well to win the game. I got a lot of respect for Robin [Fraser]. I think he’s a really, not only a great guy, but a really good coach. And I think it’s going to be tough for us this weekend. We are going to have to bring our best game.”

Other Notes:

Three of the four Western Conference playoff matches will be played today with the other being played on Tuesday night. Sporting Kansas City will play at 3PM on FS1. This is the game both Minnesota and Colorado, and ourselves, will be watching intently. The SKC/SJ winner will face the MNUFC/Colorado winner in the second round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. A win by San Jose would give the Loons/Rapids winner a home match and keep them away from Sporting KC.

As for players out for the match the Loons will only have three out tonight. So a returning Alonso, Hayes, Schoenfeld, and having Kamara back from International Duty will undoubtedly help.

Injury Report:

Minnesota United FC

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

Colorado Rapids

  • Questionable: None
  • Out: Kortne Ford