Match previews

Match preview: Minnesota United vs Philadelphia Union

Photo: Howie Pollard

Who: Minnesota United (11-10-8, 41 points – 7th in Western Conference) vs Philadelphia Union (12-7-10, 46 points – 7th in East)

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: Allianz Stadium, St. Paul, Minnesota

When: Wednesday, October 20, 8:00 pm ET (8:08 kickoff)

Watch: PHL17, ESPN+

Whistle: Not available at time of publication

The Philadelphia Union continue down the home stretch of the regular season with a trip to St. Paul to take on Minnesota United.  This match serves as the Union’s second and final contest against Western Conference opponents during the regular season (the other being a 3-0 home win against Portland on May 30th).

Minnesota currently sit just above the playoff line, one point ahead of eighth place Vancouver.  They’ll be looking to build off a 1-0 away win against Austin FC over the weekend.

Despite dropping points late in their match against Montreal on Saturday afternoon, Philadelphia still hold onto 3rd place in the East. However, with an extremely tight playoff race, the Union still have plenty of work to do over their next five matches to secure a spot in the MLS playoffs.

Scouting Report: Minnesota United

After going 0-0-4 in their first four matches of the season, many were wondering if this Minnesota United team was going to split open and melt before the season ever really got going.  However, veteran head coach Adrian Heath and his squad proceeded to go undefeated in their next seven matches (4-3-0) to quickly right the ship and get their regular season back on track.

Like most MLS teams, including the Union, Minnesota have five matches remaining.  Being in the thick of the playoff race in the Western Conference, Minnesota will need to make the most of each of those matches if they’re to hold onto one of the seven available playoff spots.

Prior to their 1-0 away win against Austin FC on Saturday, Minnesota found themselves winless in their last three matches, scoring two goals in that span.  However, the Loons have also kept four cleansheets over their last six matches, which has helped to earn them the points needed to stay alive in the western conference playoff race.

Heath has been consistent in rolling out his 4-2-3-1 over the last several matches.  The offense, and really the entire game plan for Minnesota, revolves around CAM Emanuel Reynoso.  His skill on the ball is undeniable, which is why Union fans should expect to see quite a bit him during this upcoming match.  He is tied for the team high in assists (8) and has found the back of the net four times this season.

Reynoso is usually sandwiched in between wingers Robin Lod and Franco Fragapane, both of whom are having strong seasons.  Lod currently leads the team with seven goals while Fragapane is tied with Reynoso with eight assists.  Also worth keeping an eye on his CDM Hassani Dotson, who U.S fans may remember getting a glimpse of during the U-23’s olympic qualifiers early this year.

Injury Report: Justin McMaster (Out-thigh), Juan Agudelo (Questionable-undisclosed)

Scouting Report: Philadelphia Union 

The overarching feeling from Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Montreal was that Union should be disappointed to have dropped points by conceding an equalizer nearly five minutes into second half stopping.  And yes, they should be disappointed.

However, anyone watching that match could easily argue that the Union who were fortunate to walk away with any points at all. Montreal more or less controlled that game from start to finish, and dominated possession (64% to 36%).  Granted, the Union very rarely own possession given the way they play.  But even when the Union got on the ball, they never looked dangerous and they ended the match with only four shots (two on goal).  Of course, both of their shots on goal found the back of the net; but both came by way of a restart and both needed some good fortune to go in.

If the Union are to do what they’ve have difficulty doing all year long, win on the road, their high press will need to have some bite to it to induce turnovers and create some chances from open play.

Last match saw Quinn Sullivan start up top alongside Kacper Przybylko.  With Cory Burke still out nursing an ankle injury, and Sergio Santos listed as questionable with a quad injury, head coach Jim Curtin may elect for the same pairing.  We’ve also seen Curtin deploy Daniel Gazdag up top at times this year, and Matheus Davo and Anthony Fontana are also available for selection (although a start from Davo or Fontana would be surprising).

The Union will welcome Jose Martinez back from international duty who will most likely be slotted back into his normal No. 6 position, which would seemingly allow Leon Flach to return to the No. 8.  However, with another match looming on Saturday (home against Nashville) Curtin may continue to implement some amount of squad rotation to keep legs fresh.

Injury Report: Cory Burke (Out – Ankle), Ilsinho (Out – Thigh), Alvas Powell (Out – Hamstring), Sergio Santos (Questionable), Andre Blake (Adductor)

Match-Up to Watch: Reynoso vs Union No. 6

Whether it’s Martinez or Flach at the No. 6, they’ll need to be sharp in order to keep up with Reynoso all match.

Player to Watch: Emanuel Reynoso

Reynoso will be the most talented player on the field Wednesday night.  He’s a joy to watch.

Prediction: Minnesota 2 – 1 Philadelphia

Short rest, on the road, against a team that is playing solid defense.  It’s a tough midweek match-up for the Union.


  1. The Union are 3rd in the East, not 7th.

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    oh it’s in english tonight, eh?
    no cornhole?
    30 for 30?
    or super important PHL programming?
    How many people at tonights game in MN?
    my over/under —- 6,975 1/2.
    Hmm still alittle terse and surly I am.

  3. I’m going to be a little more optimistic and guess that we are likely looking at a draw against a team the Union have never beaten, very likely 0-0.
    I think squad rotation is key as it Saturday’s game is the more important one.
    I think that technically only one of the Union’s shots on goal went in last Saturday as I thought the Montreal keeper was credited with a save (which means the own goal doesn’t count as a shot on goal).

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Do you mean the Union have never beaten Minnesota? The Union won 5-1 in 2018 in Chester… and the Union beat them 3-2 at their place in 2019. I’m assuming you meant a Minnesota has never beaten the Union

  4. Union are 3rd in east. Minnesota are in East too, 7th

  5. Here are the game officials.
    Minnesota United vs Philadelphia Union
    Allianz Field (8PM ET)
    REF: Allen Chapman
    AR1: Jason White
    AR2: Claudiu Badea
    4TH: Chris Ruska
    VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
    AVAR: Gianni Facchini

  6. an injured blake should not be playing. give freese the nod.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: