Preview: Minnesota United looking to advance U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 vs. Houston

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ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 10: Minnesota players line up to form a wall for an Orlando penalty kick during the soccer match between The Orlando City Lions and Minnesota United FC on March 10, 2018 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando FL. Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Preview (June 17, 2018) – Minnesota United is looking to continue to advance in the US Open Cup in a Round of 16 match vs. Houston Dynamo on Monday night. This is the farthest the club has advanced in the tournament dating back, including their NASL days.

This will be Minnesota’s first match since their last US Open fixture, a penalty-kick shootout win vs. FC Cincinnati on June 6th. Bobby Shuttleworth played the hero with 3 penalty saves during the shootout. The two-week break is one of the longest breaks during the MLS season for any team.

Preview: Minnesota United looking to advance U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 vs. Houston

Minnesota United FC vs. Houston Dynamo

U.S. Open Cup round of 16

BBVA Compass Stadium

June 18th, 2018 – 7:30p.m. CT

What to watch for:

How will the long layoff affect Minnesota?

With such a long layoff will Minnesota United show up rusty or well rested? Maybe this is the break that players such as Abu Danladi need to get closer to their ideal match fitness

Will Abu Danladi regain his form last year?

The now 22-year old Ghanian forward made a strong push for Rookie of the Year last year with 8 goals and 2 assists in 1400 minutes. In 230 minutes so far this year Danladi has yet to build on that and register in either category. Adrain Heath handed him the start up top in the last round, so we will have to see if he does the same for his match.

Will the central defense pairing of Kallman and Boxall build off the last game?

With the team captain Fransisco Calvo at the World Cup with Costa Rica. Brett Kallman has been asked to come and deputize for the skipper. Kallman and Michael Boxall put in a respectful performance against FC Cincinnati, keeping a shutout all the way to penalty. This will probably be Minnesota United preferred central defense pairing until Calvo returns for the World Cup. It will be interesting to see if the two can build off their performance against Cincinnati. Keeping Houston’s dangerous attack at bay will be a good challenge for the new pairing.

Predicted Line-up

————–Ramirez————

——Ibara————–Danladi—

Warner—Maximiniano– Schuller

Miller—Kallman—Boxall—-Mears

————Shuttleworth————

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