FC Cincinnati vs. Minnesota United | 2020 MLS Match Preview

CIN-MIN Week 20

2020 MLS Regular Season – Week 20
FC Cincinnati vs. Minnesota United
Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati
October 24 – 7:30 PM ET


LOCAL TV: Star64, FOX Sports North

Desperate for three points to stay in the chase for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, FC Cincinnati host a Minnesota United squad unbeaten in their last five in the first-ever match between the sides at Nippert Stadium Saturday night. 

FC Cincinnati (4W-11L-4D) are coming off a devastating 2-1 home defeat to D.C. United Sunday, while the Loons (6W-5L-6D) squandered a two-goal lead to settle for a third draw in the last four games, playing the Houston Dynamo to a 2-2 home stalemate Sunday. 

This is the second meeting this season, with Minnesota United winning 2-0 at Allianz Field Oct. 3 with Kei Kamara and Kevin Molino scoring a goal in each half. 

FC Cincinnati

In a six-pointer below the playoff line in the East, FC Cincinnati rallied to equalize through Brandon Vazquez, only to concede the decisive goal 12 minutes later to fall to D.C. United 2-1. It is FC Cincy's fifth loss in their last six games. 

"The thing is, you make it difficult for yourself to win games and get points if you concede goals like that," Jaap Stam said after the match, referring to Donovan Pines' opening goal in the 36th minute. "Then, you need to get back to the game. You need to chase it. You need to score. You need to equalize, which we do. Then after that, it happened again, which is very disappointing. If we keep on doing this, and in other games we’ve had it as well, it is becoming difficult to get points."

Cincy GM Gerard Nijkamp is encouraged by the signs of progress the team has made this season, but said it will still take several more transfer windows before the team can truly compete in MLS.

“In the beginning of my appointment for the club. I spoke already that this project will take several years to build a team who can compete in this league. And it is not by one or two windows, but I think four or five windows,” Nijkamp said on Cincinnati Soccer Talk’s podcast this week.

FC Cincinnati vs. Minnesota United | 2020 MLS Match Preview - Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Greg Garza (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Przemyslaw Tyton (GK) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Mathieu Deplagne (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Saad Abdul-Salaam (D) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Kendall Waston (D)
  • International duty:  None

Minnesota United

Ethan Finlay set the tone by scoring twice in the opening half hour, but Minnesota United conceded twice after halftime, including Niko Hansen's equalizer seven minutes from time in a disappointing 2-2 draw at Allianz Field Sunday night. 

“Even in the first half, we looked like what we were. A team that hadn’t done an awful lot in two weeks, didn’t look sharp, didn’t look focused,”Adrian Heath said after the match. “With the start that we had, I thought that we were going to get away with it, but as the game wore on our decision making got worse and worse. At the end I was quite thankful that we got a point, to be honest.”

The Loons received some bad news during the week when it was revealed midfielder Hassani Dotson will be out for a number of weeks with an ankle injury suffered as a result of a tackle from Adam Lundkvist Heath called one of the worst he's seen and an obvious red card. Also, The Athletic's Jeff Rueter reports that center back Jose Aja and star playmaker Emanuel "Bebelo" Reynoso are expected to play this weekend after testing positive for COVID-19.

FC Cincinnati vs. Minnesota United | 2020 MLS Match Preview - Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Tyler Miller (GK) - hip injury
    • OUT: Ike Opara (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Luis Amarilla (F) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Hassani Dotson (D) - ankle injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

Series Matchup at FC Cincinnati

  • This is the first all-time matchup between FC Cincinnati and Minnesota United at Nippert Stadium.


  • Referee: Malik Badawi
  • Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Peter Balciunas
  • 4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
  • VAR: Alan Kelly