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Minnesota United FC vs. Toronto FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Minnesota United vs. Toronto FC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 19

TCF Bank Stadium — Minneapolis
July 4 - 7 pm ET
WATCH: TSN 1/4, ESPN+

Raise your hand if you thought Minnesota United FC would have more wins at this point of the season than Toronto FC. That’s the reality for a pair of teams desperate for points heading into this Fourth of July clash in Minneapolis.

The Loons have lost three straight, including a 1-0 home defeat to FC Dallas last Friday night, while Toronto FC lost back-to-back games against Big Apple foes, including a 1-0 home loss to the New York Red Bulls.

Toronto won their lone league meeting with the Loons – 3-2 at BMO Field last May.

Minnesota United FC

Minnesota (5-10-1) played without Miguel Ibarra to a red-card suspension and Adrian Heath switched to a 3-5-2 formation from his usual 4-2-3-1. Chances were created, more than usual, but the Loons couldn’t find that elusive goal.

The Loons played a fairly even match against one of the top teams in the Western Conference, but a Roland Lamah header off a Santiago Mosquera corner kick just before the hour mark proved to be the difference for the visitors.

“That’s the fourth [goal] in the last six games we’ve conceded from a corner,” Heath said. “Somebody not picking their man up. I keep going over it, I keep talking about it. Unfortunately at the moment, we’re not learning the lesson. And football, sometimes you get what you deserve, and sometimes you don’t, and that was one of them that we didn’t. I think the worst that we deserved is a draw out of the game.”

Suspended: None
Suspended after next caution: D - Francisco Calvo, M - Rasmus Schuller
International duty: None
Injury Report: OUT: M - Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction), M - Kevin Molino (torn left ACL), M - Ethan Finlay (torn ACL), D - Marc Burch (left knee injury), F - Abu Danladi (left leg injury), D - Jerome Thiesson (right leg injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Eric Miller (left hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Bobby Shuttleworth — Tyrone Mears, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, Alexi Gomez — Rasmus Schuller, Ibson — Miguel Ibarra, Darwin Quintero, Collin Martin — Christian Ramirez

  • Notes: Ibson led Minnesota with five shots in their 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas, but failed to put a single shot on target. It is the third time a Loon has done so in a MLS match. … Minnesota enter this match having lost five of their last seven MLS matches (1W-1D), conceding 2.0 goals per game in the stretch.

Toronto FC

Another Sunday match in sweltering conditions against another New York opponent and another loss for Toronto (4-9-3), which fell 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls at BMO Field. It was TFC’s third consecutive home match without a win.

An Alex Bono blunder resulted in the game’s lone goal, with Kemar Lawrence scoring for the second straight game, to put the visitors in front on four minutes. The Reds pressed for the equalizer, but couldn’t solve Luis Robles, who made eight saves, including denying Sebastian Giovinco from the penalty spot in the 78th minute.

“Disappointing result,” Greg Vanney said. “They had two shots on goal; the one that goes in should never go in. We need something to build on … that didn't help.”

“You could tell with a soft goal and chance missed after chance missed, you start to feel the result again is coming,” he continued. “There are positives our there, but right now we've got to turn the positives into a result, so that as a group we feel the building blocks going into place.”

Suspended: None
Suspended after next caution: None
International duty: None
Injury Report: OUT: F - Jozy Altidore (foot surgery), D - Drew Moor (quadricep strain), D - Chris Mavinga (hamstring strain), GK - Caleb Patterson-Sewell (elbow injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Jason Hernandez (hamstring irritation)

Projected Starting XI
(4-1-4-1)
GK: Alex Bono — Auro, Nick Hagglund, Greg van der Wiel, Justin Morrow — Michael Bradley — Nicolas Hasler, Jonathan Osorio, Victor Vazquez, Ager Aketxe — Sebastian Giovinco

  • Notes: Giovinco’s production is way down this year. His Goals Plus Assists per game average is 0.5 this year, against an average of just under one goals plus assists per game in the three previous seasons. … Toronto FC are 1W-6L-2D in their last nine league matches on the road, allowing 2.2 goals per game.

All-Time Series

  • This is the second all-time meeting between Minnesota United FC and Toronto FC with Toronto winning 3-2 at BMO Field on May 13, 2017.

Officials

Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Assistant Referees: Logan Brown, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Younes Marrakchi