D.C. United has never won a match against Minnesota United at Allianz Field. Tonight the Black-and-Red hopes to shake up the record a bit and bring points back to the District. The announcement of Wayne Rooney as the club’s new head coach has lit a fire in the locker room. With players eager to shine and earn their position in Rooney’s XI, there is certainly a newfound spark.
After a devastating matchup with Philadelphia, D.C. rallied to a 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew. Patience on the ball and building out of the back allowed the Black-and-Red to conserve energy and really step on the gas when needed. Tonight, we will likely see the Black-and-Red line up 4-2-3-1 as D.C. continues to implement elements of Rooney’s new tactics.
Minnesota United is coming off a draw with Sporting Kansas City and will be fired up to win in front of the Wonderwall at Allianz Field. It’s going to be up to the Black-and-Red to dig deep if they want to bag any points in the Twin Cities.
Key Player: Taxi Fountas and Jackson Hopkins
Wednesday’s midweek matchup against the Columbus Crew saw a young Jackson Hopkins step into a mature role on the pitch. The 18-year-old provided prime service to Taxi Fountas, using his keen vision to seek out the Greek striker. Hopkins was humble about his performance, saying, “I mean, Taxi always makes good runs and the team’s getting me the ball in a good position so I’ve just got to pick my head up and look for the guy that’s been scoring all the goals.” Fountas is a menace himself, able to easily get the drop on the opposing defense.
Watch Out For: Luis Amarilla and Franco Fragapane
Amarilla and Fragapane are dangerous on the attack and accounted for two out of three goals when Minnesota faced Vancouver. Alongside Emanuel Reynoso, Amarilla and Fragapane contribute to a dangerous Minnesota attack.
Challenges: The Black-and-Red are already implementing elements of head coach Wayne Rooney’s system and this includes farewells to beloved players. Julian Gressel was just traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps and more changes are expected in the locker room creating a sense of unease.
Previously: D.C. United and Minnesota United have met four times and in each meeting, the home team has secured the victory.
Minnesota United Availability:
Out: Kervin Arriaga (ankle), Hassani Dotson (knee), Niko Hansen (thigh), Patrick Weah (knee), Romain Métanire (thigh), Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi (thigh)
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Adrien Perez (foot), Bill Hamid (hand), Brad Smith (knee), Ola Kamara (glute)
Questionable: Tony Alfaro (ankle), Russell Canouse (thigh - but did travel with the team to Minnesota), Julian Gressel (glute, trade to Vancouver)
Location: Allianz Field, St. Paul, MN
Kickoff time: 8 pm ET (8:08 pm ET)
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Available TV: NBCSWA, TeleXitos
Available streaming: dcunited.com
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