Minnesota United FC vs. Houston Dynamo Preview
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The Loons returned both to Allianz Field and winning form on Saturday by beating the LA Galaxy 3-0 in front of a home crowd. With two goals from Emanuel Reynoso in the first half and one goal from Ethan Finlay in the second, MNUFC created a gap that LA couldn't close. Up next, the Loons are scheduled to face the Houston Dynamo in Saint Paul next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The last time the two met, the Loons narrowly defeated Houston 2-1 with a brace from Adrien Hunou at BBVA Stadium. Undoubtedly, Houston will be aiming to return the favor and take three points from the Loons on their home turf. Most recently, the Dynamo earned a hard-fought 3-2 home win over FC Dallas in the Texas Derby. The Loons will need to maintain their momentum from their win over LA to make sure they come away with three points against Houston to solidify their spot in a tight Western Conference race to the postseason.
ADRIAN HEATH ON EMANUEL REYNOSO'S STRONG RETURN PERFORMANCE
"He thinks I moan at him too much because I keep saying, 'You don't score enough goals.' And what he needs to do, and you've heard me say it since he's been here, if we can consistently get him the ball in and around the 18-yard box, he'll either produce something with a little magic or a sly little pass or he'll make goals, score goals. And he's got to do more of it because he's a quality player."
MICHAEL BOXALL ON THE CLEAN SHEET AFTER GIVING UP FOUR TO SKC
"I like to think that Kansas City was an anomaly but it's only that if everyone does their job for 90 minutes, which against Kansas City, we didn't. As I said before, those are the performances that I expect out of our group and it's not just the back four and Tyler [Miller], it's the whole team digging in and doing their job. We're tough to break down when everybody does their jobs."
Since the last time MNUFC met with the Dynamo, Houston have had mixed results. They've lost to the Portland Timbers, managed a draw with the LA Galaxy and bagged two wins over interstate rivals Austin FC and Dallas FC. Against the Toros, the second of Houston's three goals came from a penalty kick, converted by none other than former Loon Darwin Quintero. Quintero has been benched for much of the season but added noticeable bite to the Dynamo's play at BBVA Stadium on Saturday. Will Head Coach Tab Ramos look once again for a spark from El CientÃfico del Gol, and will it be enough to burn the Loons in front of their home crowd? If it is, it will mean Houston's first-ever win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
STORYLINES PRESENTED BY BMW
REVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: Following a rugged winless stretch going all the way back to May 22 and a 2-1 win over Vancouver, the Dynamo have now rung up two wins at home and a draw on the road in the last three games. At least some of that surge could be attributed to erstwhile Loon Darwin Quintero, who made his first three starts of the season and provided an assist and a penalty kick goal. At 34, Quintero may not be the one-man wrecking crew he was for MNUFC when he came into the league in 2018, but combined with speed demon and scoring machine FafÃ Picault - who has 10 goals on the season - the Dynamo have provided whiffs of the scoring nous they used to flash on a regular basis when the frontline was spearheaded by Alberth Elis, Romell Quioto and Mauro Manotas. Houston may have never wrangled three points from the Loons at either TCF Bank Stadium or Allianz Field, but that doesn't mean MNUFC can take a win for granted at this point in the season. Every home game is a must win.
FIRST TOUCHES: Franco Fragapane's pair of assists against the Galaxy brought his total on the year to five and brought him up to second in the league in assists per game, with the Argentine providing 0.56 helpers per game.
PLAYER AVAILABILITY REPORT:
Gregus - Ankle
McMaster - Thigh
Dotson - Knee
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