Minnesota United FC vs. FC Cincinnati Preview
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The good news is that Minnesota United is undefeated in their last four games, which includes three clean sheets. The not-so-good news is the Loons have only managed one win in that same span, which includes their last game against Houston when they went into the locker room up two goals but left it later that night with just a point after surrendering two second-half goals. The it-gets-better news is that their lone win in that stretch was against FC Cincinnati - the team they're now heading off to face in the Queen City. Hassani Dotson will be unavailable following a crushing challenge from Adam Lundkvist - who was given a three-game suspension after the fact - during the Dynamo game, but several other Loons will be returning to the fray. With just five games left on the schedule (currently), there couldn't be a better opportunity for MNUFC to get three points on the road as they angle for a top four seed in the West.
ADRIAN HEATH ON FC CINCINNATI
"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."
OSVALDO ALONSO ON TRAINING INSIDE AND THE SNOW
"I'm not happy either way. Out there is too cold, in here it's the turf but it is what it is. I get used to it a little more now. But like I said, I'm happy because I played again, training again with the team and healthy, is more important for me."
At this point, barring spectacular late-season heroics or a complete collapse by teams above them, FC Cincinnati is going to chalk up 2020 as a sophomore slump not unlike the one MNUFC experienced. Although they've bumped their points per game up from a woeful 0.71 last season to 0.84, a rocky start to the year with coaching drama has led to just one win in their last seven games and just two in their last 14. First year Head Coach Jaap Stam has experimented with several different looks in terms of formation, most recently settling into a 4-2-3-1. The team is still figuring out how to make the most of DP signings Yuya Kubo and Jurgen Locadia, who have underperformed as Cincy has managed just 11 goals on the year - six fewer than the next lowest scoring team in the league, D.C. United. Add to that winning just as many games at home as on the road (two) this season, and it's imperative that MNUFC get on the front foot despite being on the road and take control of the game early.
There's still a lot to play for out West in this weird and wild season. Currently, three teams - MNUFC, FC Dallas and San Jose - are tied with 24 points and two more sit below them with 21 points. The twist? FC Dallas and San Jose are playing the two teams with 21 points, the Whitecaps and RSL. Should they lose and should the Loons fail to take anything from their game against Cincy, spots five through nine will ALL have 24 points. It's safe to say that a hot streak by any of those teams over the next two weeks could significantly shift the playoff picture.
FIRST TOUCHES: Finlay and Molino are among the 10 players in the league with two multi-goal games this season. Minnesota is the only team with more than one player who has scored multiple goals in multiple games. [READ MORE]
Miller - hip (out for season)
MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. FC CINCINNATI
NIPPER STADIUM | CINCINNATI, OHIO
10.24.20 | MLS Week No. 20 | MLS Game No. 18
6:30 p.m. CT (FSN/MNUFC Radio on SKOR North)
MIN: 6-5-6 (3-4-4 on the road)
HOU: 4-11-4 (2-3-4 at home)
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from October 23, 2020
- MLS Disciplinary Committee Decisions Announced - MLS
- Columbus Crew SC Travels to Face the Houston Dynamo Tomorrow - Columbus Crew SC
- Match Preview: Atlanta United vs. D.C. United - Atlanta United FC
- Orlando City Looks to Continue Unbeaten Run at Inter Miami - Orlando City SC
- #RSLvFCD: Five Facts You Need to Know - FC Dallas
- Phelipe Called up to Brazil's Olympic Roster for International Friendlies - FC Dallas
- Match Preview: New York Travels to the Midwest to Face Chicago Fire FC - New York Red Bulls
- Inter Miami CF and St. Louis CITY SC Join eMLS Ahead of 2021 eMLS Competitive Season - MLS
- Minnesota United FC vs. FC Cincinnati Preview - Minnesota United FC
- Real Salt Lake Faces FC Dallas on Saturday for the First Time in 2020 - Real Salt Lake
- Inter Miami CF to Join eMLS Ahead of 2021 Competitive Season - Inter Miami CF
- Preview: Sporting KC to Host Colorado on Saturday - Sporting Kansas City
- Three Points: Houston Dynamo Return to Bbva Stadium to Host Columbus Crew SC - Houston Dynamo
- What to Watch for as Nashville SC Hosts New England Revolution - Nashville SC
- Will Bruin Stoppage Time Goal Snatches Point for Sounders FC over Timbers - Seattle Sounders FC
- Timbers, Seattle Battle to 1-1 Draw at Centurylink Field Thursday Night - Portland Timbers
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Minnesota United FC Stories
- Loons Head to Sporting Kansas City December 2 for Conference Semifinals
- Loons Win First MLS Playoff Game
- Minnesota United FC vs. Colorado Rapids Preview
- Loons Host Colorado Rapids in Round One of 2020 Playoffs
- MNUFC Midfielder Kevin Molino Voted MLS Player of the Week