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Downstream Game 15: Away to Minnesota United

SOCCER: OCT 24 MLS - Colorado Rapids at Sporting Kansas City Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Minnesota United Stats

2020 Record: 7-5-6 W-L-T, 27 points at 1.5 points-per-game

Goals: 29 for, 23 allowed, +6 differential

Last Result: Won against FC Cincinnati 0-1 on the road

Last MLS Power Ranking Position: 13

The Rapids are headed to the Allianz Field in St. Paul as they aim to play their second game following the series of postponed games. Colorado got destroyed 4-0 against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night, but can they turn things around as they look to make it into the playoffs for the first time since 2016?

Before we get started here on Minnesota’s team... I know we got beat badly by SKC last weekend. But, keep in mind that we were playing against one of the best teams in the league after we haven’t played in a month. Between lack of practice and live game experience, I’m not surprised the game ended as it did. Additionally, we kept them off the board for an entire half. While our offense and defense alike needed to be better to get a proper win out of the game, there’s no reason to think that we can’t rally in time for the remaining games of the season to be much more competitive. It’s far from the end of the world.

Now, let’s get to MNUFC, who the Rapids played earlier this season in the Orlando bubble. The 2-2 draw felt like two points dropped rather than a point earned.

Minnesota have gone through a few roster changes since then. They traded Mason Toye to Montreal and we traded Kei Kamara to them (who we know won’t be featuring tonight).

They also brought in a new Big Gun with Emanuel Reynoso, the Argentinian striker from Boca Juniors brought in as a DP in September.

Aside from that, they’re still largely the team we played earlier, and are a solid one at that. Minnesota United haven’t been necessarily shining as one of the MLS gems—Toronto, Seattle, Columbus, etc.—but have been one of the better teams in the league. They’re unbeaten in five games (three draws and two wins); though two of those have come against everyone’s favorite punching bag, FC Cincinnati.

Given the Rapids’ situation with potentially needing to get into the playoffs on a PPG basis, we are in a tight race. If we end up faceplanting hardcore over the remainder of the season, we’d go 19 points over 18 games for a pretty scarce 1.05 PPG. Currently, RSL is below the playoff line at 1.16, with Vancouver and San Jose both being above the line at 1.2.

If we get a win over the next four games, we’d get to at least a 1.22 PPG, which should put us above the playoff line. Two of our games are going to be against Seattle and Portland, who are both duking it out with SKC for the top position in the Western Conference. There’s also the Houston Dynamo, a team who is struggling at a 1.05 PPG and are on the outside looking in at this point.

And of course tonight’s game against Minnesota, who sit at fifth place with a PPG of 1.5. Opportunities are dwindling, and Minnesota is probably our second-best chance to get three points and put us into playoff contention.

That isn’t to say things couldn’t change in the rankings like someone shuffling a deck of cards between now and Decision Day. The 2020 year is basically the calendar definition of someone taking crazy pills anyways. But the Burgundy Boys need to take the lessons learned against Kansas City and apply it in a short turnaround to make sure we are going to be in the postseason for the first time in four years.