Minnesota United FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Minnesota United FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
2017 MLS Regular Season
TCF Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, Minn.
Saturday, April 29 | 8 pm ET
WATCH: MLS Live
The monkey is off their backs, and Minnesota United FC look to have settled into life as an MLS team. Winning their second game of the season last week against the Colorado Rapids, they've only lost one of their last four matches and are now looking to head into uncharted territory against a new opponent, the San Jose Earthquakes. Can they begin their first winning streak in MLS play?
And look, it's MLS, so any team has a chance on any given game, but the Earthquakes may be the exact competition the Loons are looking for. Coming off a long two-game road trip last week in which they picked up a single point, San Jose have to fly halfway across the country again to aim for a return to the win column.
After a brutal opening month to life in MLS, Minnesota have settled down in recent weeks. While they may not yet be eyeing a playoff spot come season's end, picking up their first ever clean sheet last week against the Rapids should give Minnesota's defense some much-needed confidence. And with the Quakes not scoring freely themselves, it should be a promising match-up for the Loons' backline.
"Can we keep improving? Can we keep working on what we think’s getting better? Can we make it even better? I think the most important thing for us is after three halves without conceding a goal, can we make that four?" Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath told reporters at training on Tuesday. "Let's take each half as it comes. It's going to be a really difficult game at the weekend. [Chris] Wondolowski, one of the top goal scorers in the league, probably the top active goal scorer in the league. We know that if we fall asleep like we did early on this season or make errors, he will punish us. We need to keep it going now."
- Suspended: None
- International Duty: None:
- Injury report: OUT: M - Bernardo Anor (lower leg); QUESTIONABLE: M - Rasmus Schuller (hip), GK - Patrick McLain (concussion)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Bobby Shuttleworth (GK) – Marc Burch, Francisco Calvo, Brent Kallman, Jerome Thiesson – Sam Cronin, Ibson – Kevin Molino, Johan Venegas, Miguel Ibarra – Christian Ramirez
Notes: Johan Venegas had four key passes, including the assist, against Colorado last weekend. It was his second game this year with four key passes. No other Minnesota player has had more than three key passes in a single game this year.
San Jose Earthquakes
The pressure is mounting for San Jose. A road trip that includes a midweek jaunt to New England and then a weekend match in Houston is among the most brutal possible in MLS, no doubt. But the Quakes are now winless in six games, the second-longest run in the league this season, and while their hot start leaves them above the red line, if they continue to drop points they'll slide back down the Western Conference standings.
Even with the one-point performance across two games last week, spirits remain high in the locker room.
“That’s the good thing about soccer,” Earthquakes forward Danny Hoesen told the club's website. “You can get out the next weekend and try to make it right again. That’s definitely what we want to do.”
And while there are shoots of growth for Minnesota, San Jose have more savvy and experience in MLS collectively. It won't be easy, but this is definitely a game that the Quakes have a chance of getting all three points, and they certainly know it.
- Suspended: None
- International duty: None
- Injury report: OUT: F - Quincy Amarikwa (knee), D - Marvell Wynne (heart), M - Marc Pelosi (knee), D - Harold Cummings (leg), M - Simon Dawkins (knee)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2): David Bingham (GK) – Nick Lima, Florian Jungwirth, Fatai Alashe, Shaun Francis – Cordell Cato, Darwin Ceren, Anibal Godoy, Jahmir Hyka – Chris Wondolowski, Marco Ureña
Notes: Anibal Godoy has won 65 duels so far this season, the most of any player in the league.
- This is the first meeting between the teams
- Referee: Ted Unkel
- AR1 (Near side): Peter Balciunas
- AR2 (Far side): Jason White
- Fourth Official: Kevin Stott