Knockout Stage presented by Audi

Preview: Orlando City SC vs. Minnesota United | MLS is Back Tournament, Semifinals

2020 MLS is Back Tournament – Semifinals
Orlando City SC vs. Minnesota United
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Thurs., August 6 – 8:00 PM ET

TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes; TSN, TVAS2 in Canada

STREAMING: ESPN App; TSN App, TVAS App in Canada

The Adrian Heath Derby will decide the last remaining spot in the MLS is Back Tournament final as Minnesota United FC and Orlando City SC face off on Thursday in the second of the two semifinals. Current Loons head coach Adrian Heath will forever have a prominent role in Orlando's history, starting right from their inception and leading them to two USL titles.

While he lasted just one-and-a-half seasons with the Lions in MLS before he and the club decided to part ways, Heath is still the man responsible for leading the club to their best season in MLS, in their inaugural campaign back in 2015. Neither Orlando nor Minnesota, who Heath has coached since the club joined MLS in 2017, has won a trophy as an MLS club.

Heath has yet to taste defeat against his former club since joining the Loons. Minnesota have won two of the three meetings between the clubs, with the third being a 1-1 draw at Allianz Field last season.

Orlando City SC

Orlando City continued what has been a remarkable run with their penalty kick shootout triumph over mighty LAFC in the quarterfinals. It might still be too early to declare the Lions fully arrived, but they fully earned their victory over the reigning Supporters’ Shield champs and seem to have a magic about them in this tournament. It’s the continuation of an admirable job from new head coach Oscar Pareja, who seems to have the players fully bought in on his philosophy and identity in a remarkably short amount of time. They’ve looked the part of a legit contender, with a talented and cohesive attack and a defense that looks much improved over the leaky units of years past. 

Orlando will again be without striker Dom Dwyer on Thursday after the 30-year-old underwent surgery on his left knee last week and is set to be sidelined for between four to six months.

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Dom Dwyer (F) - knee injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Chris Mueller (M) - shoulder injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Minnesota United

The perpetual underdogs enter Thursday’s match flying high. Though they have not been favored in either of their Knockout Stage matches, the Loons have been able to jump out ahead in both matches. Against Columbus, they had to go into a penalty-kick shootout to advance, but their quarterfinal match against the San Jose Earthquakes was a much different story. After goals in the 20th and 21st minutes, Minnesota cruised to a 4-1 in over the Quakes to book their place in their semis.

That their progress in Orlando has come without 2019 MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara only makes the efforts of Heath's squad all the more impressive.

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Ike Opara (D) - undisclosed injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Thomas Chacon (M) - left lower leg injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Romain Metanire (D) - left hamstring injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup

  • Orlando City SC: 0 wins, 2 goals
  • Minnesota United: 2 wins, 4 goals
  • 1 draw


  • Referee: Marcos de Oliveira
  • Assistant Referees: Nick Uranga, Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
  • 4th Official: Jair Marrufo
  • VAR: Allen Chapman
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