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

Minnesota United FC vs. Atlanta United FC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 5
TCF Bank Stadium — Minneapolis
8:00 pm ET – March 31, 2018
WATCH: MLS LIVE 

The last, and only time, the two sides met in Minneapolis, Josef Martinez netted a first-half hat trick and Miguel Almiron added a brace in a 6-1 victory for Atlanta United FC, the historic first in club history.

After leaking a league-high 70 goals a year ago, Minnesota United FC appeared to have tightened up their defense, but a restructured backline surrendered three goals in a loss to the New York Red Bulls that snapped a two-game winning streak.

Atlanta United, meanwhile, are hoping to keep their mojo after outscoring opponents 7-2 in back-to-back wins following a season-opening 4-0 defeat at the Houston Dynamo.

Minnesota United FC

After two steps forward, Minnesota United FC took one step backward Saturday night, falling to the New York Red Bulls, 3-0, in Harrison. Adrian Heath had to completely rework his backline because of international duty and injuries and was down five overall starters against the Red Bulls.

“I just think collectively the better team won,” Heath said after the match. “I think that the better team wanted to win more than we did, which is not a good thing to say. And it’s been a disappointing day. It gives me food for thought of a lot of things because a lot of people have been waiting for an opportunity.”

On Monday came word that Francisco Calvo and Abu Danladi obtained green cards, which opened up international spots, which could help facilitate the reportedly imminent signing of Colombian striker Darwin Quintero.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction), M - Kevin Molino (torn left ACL); QUESTIONABLE: F - Abu Danladi (left hamstring strain), D - Tyrone Mears (right calf pull), D - Jerome Thiesson (left hip)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2–3-1, right to left)
GK: Matt Lampson — Carter Manley, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, Marc Burch — Rasmus Schuller, Ibson — Ethan Finlay, Miguel Ibarra, Sam Nicholson — Christian Ramirez

  • Notes: Ethan Finlay has three goals and assists in his last three matches for Minnesota, as many as he had in his previous 10 MLS appearances. … The Loons have conceded in 16 straight games in MLS play, the longest active streak in the league.

Atlanta United FC   

It’s hard to tell what Jeff Larentowicz remembers most — the driving snow or the avalanche of goals — when Atlanta United last played in Minneapolis. What is certain, though, is what the victory did for an expansion team’s confidence.

“It was huge,” Larentowicz told reporters Wednesday. “It showed to a new team that had never won before that they can win. Going on the road and winning, in those conditions, winning the way we did, against the other expansion team. There were a lot of things that played into that. It was important for the start of the year for us.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Ezequiel Barco (right quad strain), F - Joe Gallagher (ankle), F - Brandon Vazquez (left hamstring), D - Jose Hernandez (quad strain), GK - Mitch Hildebrandt (left knee sprain)

Projected Starting XI
(3-4-1-2, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzan — Franco Escobar, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez — Julian Gressel, Darlington Nagbe, Jeff Larentowicz, Chris McCann — Miguel Almiron — Hector Villalba, Josef Martinez

  • Notes: Since his club debut on July 21, 2017, Brad Guzan has kept eight clean sheets in league, tied for the most of any keeper. … Atlanta United are winless in their last six away games (2L-4D), scoring just three goals in those matches.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Minnesota United FC 1 win, 4 goals … Atlanta United FC 1 win, 8 goals … Ties 0
  • At Minnesota: Minnesota United FC 0 win, 1 goal … Atlanta United FC 1 wins, 6 goals … Ties 0
  • Last meeting at Minnesota: Minnesota United FC 1, Atlanta United FC 6 (March 12, 2017)

Referees

Referee: Christopher Penso
Assistant Referees: Brian Dunn, Nick Uranga
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Silviu Petrescu

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Previous Meetings

Current Form

Minnesota
Atlanta

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

Minnesota United FCAtlanta United FC
4Games Played3
2Wins2
2Losses1
0Draws0
6Goals7
8Goals Conceded6
34Shots40
17Shots on Target12
58Fouls committed31
50Fouls suffered26
8Offside5
22Corners17

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
MIN1030061.5
ATL1001172.3
01234+Avg
MIN001002
ATL000113.5
01234+Avg
MIN102001.3
ATL100000

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
MIN0202082
ATL0200162
01234+Avg
MIN010001
ATL020001
01234+Avg
MIN010202.3
ATL000014
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