ExLink - 04/28/18 - MINvHOU

Minnesota United FC vs. Houston Dynamo | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Minnesota United FC vs. Houston Dynamo
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 9
TCF Bank Stadium - Minneapolis
April 28 - 8 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (in Canada)

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Having conceded 10 goals in four consecutive losses, Minnesota United is reeling and in desperate need of a result against a Houston Dynamo team full of confidence after routing a reserve-heavy Toronto FC side.

History is on Houston’s side with the Dynamo earning a result in each of their first three games against the Loons (1W-2D).

Minnesota United FC

Another poor start and another devastating injury in what has become a recurring nightmare for Loons fans, who watched their side fall into a two-goal hole in the opening 25 minutes before losing 3-1 to Seattle Sounders FC Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

Adrian Heath made three changes to a team that lost to the Portland Timbers the previous week, bringing on goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, Carter Manley at outside back and Abu Danladi up top.

Christian Ramirez came off the substitute’s bench to score the Loons’ lone goal in the 66th minute.

Then came news on Tuesday that Ethan Finlay is likely done for the season after tearing his right ACL in the defeat. The midfielder started all seven matches for a Loons team ravished by injuries this season. Minnesota United FC (2-5-0) are already without Kevin Molino, who is also out for the year with the same injury, and Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction) has yet to play in 2018.

“For Ethan, it's a devastating blow, but the one thing I know here now is that if ever there was a kid that would come back stronger and probably in better shape, it would be him," Heath said. "He's a great professional, trains every day 100 percent. And I have no doubt he'll take that into his rehabilitation."

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction), M - Kevin Molino (torn left ACL), D - Tyrone Mears (right leg), M - Ethan Finlay (torn right ACL)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Matt Lampson — Carter Manley, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, Jerome Thiesson — Rasmus Schuller, Ibson — Sam Nicholson, Darwin Quintero, Miguel Ibarra — Christian Ramirez

  • Notes: Darwin Quintero has averaged 7.5 touches in the pox per game through his first two games for Minnesota. No other Loons player averages more than 4.2 touches in the box this season. … Minnesota has conceded 40 goals over their last 19 games, an average of 2.1 goals per game over that span. The 19 straight games with at least one goal conceded is the longest active streak in MLS.

Houston Dynamo

For the first time since a stunning 4-0 opening day rout of Atlanta United, the Dynamo (2-2-2) are coming into a game following a win after feasting their -51 win over a reserve-exclusive Toronto FC squad.

Wilmer Cabrera made two changes from the side that tied San Jose by a 2-2 score the previous week, with DaMarcus Beasley returning to his left back spot and Joe Willis replacing Chris Seitz in net.

Houston raced out to a two-goal lead on goals by Mauro Manotas and Leonardo inside the first seven minutes. Eric Alexander and Alberth Elis added second-half goals and the rout was capped by a 77th minute by Romell Quioto, who had a hand in all five goals and was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 8.

On Monday, the Dynamo announced they acquired midfielder Luis Gil on a loan from Queretaro FC after obtaining his MLS rights from Real Salt Lake.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), M - Juan David Cabezas (left quad), D - Philippe Senderos (right hamstring), D - George Malki (left knee sprain), D - Dylan Remick (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: D - Kevin Garcia (left hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Willis — Andrew Wenger, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley— Eric Alexander, Darwin Ceren — Alberth Elis, Tomas Martinez, Romell Quioto — Mauro Manotas

  • Notes: Quioto finished with a goal and two assists in last weekend’s 5-1 win, the fourth Dynamo player since 2010 to record 1+ goal and 2+ assists in a league game. … Houston’s 5-1 win over Toronto last weekend snapped a four-game winless run in which they had scored a total of five goals and conceded multiple goals in each game.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Minnesota United FC 0 wins, 3 goals … Houston Dynamo 1 win, 4 goals … 2 ties
  • At Minnesota: Minnesota United FC 0 wins, 0 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 0 goals … 1 tie
  • Last meeting at Minnesota: Minnesota United FC 0, Houston Dynamo 0 (July 19, 2017)


Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Yursi Rudolf