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Minnesota United FC vs. Sporting Kansas City | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Minnesota United FC vs. Sporting Kansas City
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 12

TCF Bank Stadium — Minneapolis
May 20 - 2:00 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)

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Two straight wins were followed by consecutive losses, including a 3-1 home defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes, and Minnesota United FC are looking to bounce back against Western Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City, which have won won three of their last four after handing Atlanta United their first home defeat of 2018.

Both teams split the first three meetings between them a year ago, each winning at home before playing to a 1-1 draw in Minneapolis on Oct. 7, 2017.

Minnesota United FC   

Adrian Heath made four changes from the side that fell to LAFC, 2-0, in the midweek, with Eric Miller starting at right back for Carter Manley, Rasmus Schuller and Ibson returning to the midfield and Christian Ramirez back from a hamstring injury to start up top in a preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Ramirez leveled in the 26th minute after Magnus Eriksson put visiting San Jose in front after two minutes from the penalty spot. However, Danny Hoesen and Chris Wondolowski (PK) scored seven minutes apart in the second half for the Quakes second win over Minnesota (4-7-0) this season.

“Goals change games at really important moments and it comes back to haunt you if you don’t take your opportunities,” Heath said after the match. “When we had that 35-minute span in the first half, two, three really good chances to go 2-1 up against a team that hasn’t had a good run, they’re huge, pivotal moments in a game and you have to take them opportunities when they come along. That’s the harsh realities of football at this level.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • 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 (right ankle injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Tyrone Mears (right leg injury)

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

  • Notes: Last season, Bobby Shuttleworth recorded 17 saves in three games against Sporting Kansas City, the most any keeper recorded against any single team in 2017. … Minnesota conceded three goals in their last home game snapping a streak of six games in which they did not concede more than one goal.

Sporting Kansas City   

Peter Vermes made two changes from the team that defeated the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, last weekend, starting Jimmy Medranda at left back and returning Yohan Croizet to the three-man midfield.

Sporting (7-2-2) capitalized on Atlanta United playing with just 10 men after Brad Guzan was sent off for DOGSO in the 34th minute, with Daniel Salloi and Gerso Fernandes scoring second-half goals in an impressive 2-0 victory.

“We don’t look at it as being anything but a tough game,” Vermes said of the matchup against the Loons. “It’s not an easy place to play, that’s for sure, and I think they have a real intensity about them in the way they play, especially at home. For us, big thing is matching intensity. At the same time, we’re going to have to play our game in going in there.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Felipe Gutierrez (sports hernia surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Jimmy Medranda — Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Yohan Croizet — Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi

  • Notes: Johnny Russell has won three penalties this season. Only two other players have won multiple penalties. … Sporting Kansas City already has more road wins (three) and as many road goals (10) as they had in all of 2017. They have not had four road wins in a season since 2015.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Minnesota United FC 1 win, 3 goals … Sporting Kansas City 1 win, 4 goals … 1 tie
  • At Minnesota: Minnesota United FC 1 win, 3 goals … Sporting 0 wins, 1 goal … 1 tie
  • Last meeting at Minnesota: Minnesota United FC 1, Sporting Kansas City 1 (Oct. 7, 2017)

Officials

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Jose da Silva
4th Official: Marcos Deoliveira
VAR: Allen Chapman

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Current Form

Minnesota
Sporting KC

Season Stats

Minnesota United FCSporting Kansas City
11Games Played11
4Wins7
7Losses2
0Draws2
13Goals23
21Goals Conceded12
90Shots145
42Shots on Target68
148Fouls committed118
124Fouls suffered101
20Offside14
56Corners74

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
MIN33500131.2
SKC22412232.1
01234+Avg
MIN122001.2
SKC121112.2
01234+Avg
MIN213001.2
SKC103012

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
MIN14150211.9
SKC51410121.1
01234+Avg
MIN130101.2
SKC303001
01234+Avg
MIN011402.5
SKC211101.2
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