Preview (September 22, 2018) – After what seems like forever, Minnesota United FC finely has a home game. With the playoffs essentially out of reach, the rest of the season is an audition for players and formations for next year.
Minnesota United FC Preview: Portland Timbers
When: Saturday, September 22th, 7:00 pm CT
Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
Watch: Streamed on ESPN+ and FOX Sports North
The Loons have come out in 4-2-3-1 formation the last two games after starting out the season in the formation but switching to the 3-5-2 for the majority of the season. The formations that Loons use the rest of the season may be a big indicator of the direction that they intend to go next season. The 4-2-3-1 might be better for their current personnel with an excess of wingers with Kevin Molino and Ethan Finley possibly returning next season.
As the for the personnel auditioning for next season, these next couple games could decide their fate. If some do not perform down the stretch, they may not be in the squad next season and the team may look a lot different.
Adrian Heath put out an experimental line-up with four usual center backs along the backline. Although Francisco Calvo might be better suited at left-back, where he plays for Costa Rica, this still was a surprising line-up. Giving Wyatt Omsberg minutes in the middle late in the season may pay dividends for next season. There is needed competition at center back with the current starters besides Kallman having a very inconsistent season.
The last couple games the Loons have deployed the Brazilian duo of Fernando Bob and Maximiniano at defensive midfield. The results have been mixed in the last two games. They have been good at breaking up play but have struggled to connect with the forwards at times. During the Real Salt Lake matchup, the offense seemed to flow more once Rasmus Schuller came on for Abu Danladi. Perhaps Schuller coming on for one of the Brazilian or replacing one of the forwards might make the offense more dangerous.
As for the forwards, Miguel Ibarra got out a drought and got back on the scoresheet. Romario Ibarra got a well-deserved start on the other wing and had a good showing. Angelo Rodriguez seems ready to come back from a minor knock and hopefully get back to his form he showed during the D.C. United matchup.