Following a much-needed victory, Minnesota United FC finally has something positive to build on.
United (4-3-2) aims to win consecutive matches for the first time upon the resumption of the regular season on Wednesday night when they look to avenge an earlier loss to banged-up FC Dallas.
Mired in an 0-3-0 rot since the league returned from the MLS is Back Tournament, Minnesota broke out for a 4-0 rout of Real Salt Lake on Sunday. Robin Lod recorded a brace while Chase Gasper and Jacori Hayes each posted a goal as United did all of its scoring in the second half.
“It was a huge game for us,” coach Adrian Heath told Minnesota’s official website. “We’re a little bit fragile at this moment in time, so (the victory) might have been a game changer. If ever a team needs some luck here, we deserve some.”
While the offensive burst was welcomed after totaling two goals in the previous three contests, earning a clean sheet might have been the most important aspect of Minnesota’s recent triumph. United had conceded three goals in each of its previous two contests and eight total during the three-game slide.
Minnesota now hopes for a better overall effort against Dallas after it fell 3-1 away from home on Aug. 29. Hassani Dotson tallied United’s lone goal in that match, while Fafa Picault, Jesus Ferreira and Reto Ziegler each scored for FCD (2-1-4).
Dallas finds itself amid a 1-0-3 stretch following a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City last Tuesday. Franco Jara put FCD up 1-0 on nine minutes, but host SKC leveled the match just before halftime.
While Dallas has not tasted defeat of late, it’s still below the playoff line in the Western Conference. More pressing, the club is dealing with a rash of injuries. Midfielder Bryan Acosta, defender Matt Hedges and keeper Jimmy Mauer each left the Kansas City contest, and their status for Wednesday is uncertain.
Picault’s fitness level also remains an issue while budding star Paxton Pomykal is expected to miss the rest of the season following hip surgery.
“We have to just keep moving forward, and that’s what having a full roster and team is all about,” coach Luchi Gonzalez told FC Dallas’ official website. “We’ve got a very competitive team. I’d say we have two to three players in every position. And that’s what we’re all about. We’re planning on having guys step up now.”
Dallas is 5-2-0 all-time against United, but only one of those victories have come in three trips to Minnesota.