Minnesota United FC ended their 2019 season in fourth place in the Western Conference — easily the best result in their short MLS tenure. But what could have been seen as an opportunity to pat themselves on the back for finally making it, Minnesota instead has shown they are clearly still focused on the long-term. In the offseason, they parted ways with a few crucial players: DP forward Darwin Quintero was traded to Houston and they couldn’t agree to a reasonable price to keep (heh) GK Vito Mannone, an Italian keeper on loan from Reading who was set to be the most expensive keeper in MLS if Minnesota had kept him on a permanent basis. In his place, they secured Tyler Miller, who had an absolute standout two years with LAFC. They also got Argentinian forward Luis Amarilla, who scored once in each of their two games. They both seem to be fitting replacements from a team that improved greatly last season.
Much like Sporting Kansas City, they started their 2020 season off with a pair of convincing, offense-focused wins. A 1-3 win over the Portland Timbers in Providence Park and a 2-5 trouncing of the Earthquakes in San Jose gives them the distinction of starting the season off with two wins — both on the road. As their attention has shifted to the tournament, they look ready and prepared for play. Brent Kallman and Ike Opara are currently out due to suspension and injury respectively. It is going to hurt not having the MLS 2019 Defender of the Year with them, but aside from that, they are looking to still be a pretty solid threat.
In the tournament, Minnesota is 1-0-1, having beat a 10-man Sporting Kansas City 2-1 and tied Real Salt Lake 0-0. After losing both of their games and SKC beating RSL this morning, the Colorado Rapids are out of the tournament after tonight, but Group Stage points count towards the regular season, so the Burgundy Boys could still use three points.
Tonight’s match will determine the Group D seeds for the rest of the tournament to the three other teams will know when they are playing: D1 plays on 7/26 (opponent TBD) and D2 plays the Crew on 7/28. D3 could play Orlando on 7/25 or San Jose on 7/27.
Assuming #SportingKC’s 2-0 margin holds, here are the scenarios. SKC, #RSL and #MNUFC have all clinched knockout berths.— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) July 22, 2020
- MIN win: 1. MIN, 2. SKC, 3. RSL
- COL win: 1. SKC, 2/3 RSL/MIN (goal difference tiebreaker)
- Draw: 1. SKC, 2. MIN, 3. RSL
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Assistant Referees: Michael Barwegen, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Jair Marrufo
VAR: Rosendo Mendoza
OUT: Kortne Ford (knee), Sebastian Anderson (knee)
SUSPENDED: Jack Price (red card), Danny Wilson (red card)
OUT: Ike Opara (undisclosed)
QUESTIONABLE: Kevin Molino (left hamstring)
SUSPENDED: Brent Kallman
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, July 22nd at 8:30 p.m. MT
Venue: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex — Orlando, FL
TV Information: ESPN
Live Stream: ESPN app
Watch Party: Watch the Rapids’ Second Screen Experience or join the Zoom room. Find more information here.
Weather at Kickoff: 81 degrees and cloudy with 79% humidity