A draw against the conference leaders Sporting KC was neither a great result or a disappointment. This weekend’s tilt against Montreal Impact is a match Minnesota should win at home. Montreal is currently in free fall, with only 9 points so far and in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
There were some memorable moments against Montreal Impact in NASL, but last season’s last gasp winner definitely ranks up there in the soccer history between the two clubs.
Alan Kelly is in the middle for this match. The Irishman is known for being a scab during the last union disturbance with MLS in 2014, with an agreement that he would be allowed to stay on as a referee once the lock out was resolved.
He’s generally a “let them play” kind of referee, having given out no red cards in 5 assignments this year and only 1 red card in 25 matches last year. Could make for a interesting match, particularly if Ibson is healthy.
D Marc Burch (left knee) – Out
GK Matt Lampson (right knee) – Out
M Sam Cronin (head) – Out
M Kevin Molino (torn ACL) – Out
M Ethan Finlay (torn ACL) – Out
M Ibson (left thigh injury) – Questionable
D Zakaria Diallo (ruptured Achilles tendon) – Out
D Kyle Fisher (tibia injury) – Out
M David Choinere (ankle surgery) – Out
D Victor Cabrera (calf injury) – Out
Montreal has struggled both on defense and offense as of late. They haven’t scored a goal since May 5th, and have let in 27 goals this season. Last week, they played against the LA Galaxy, managed to anger Zlatan enough that he slapped a player and was sent off, and still lost.
Basically, Montreal is not a good team.
They’ll be in a slightly modified 4-3-3, with midfielder Ignacio Piatti their offensive lynchpin. With the team struggling, Owner Joey Saputo has made it clear that no one is safe in the upcoming summer transfer window.
With Minnesota favoring the 4-2-3-1, look for Minnesota to again cede the center of the field a bit, and attack down the flanks. Miguel Ibarra has proven to be a key feature in their attack, so watch for Minnesota to again try and send the ball through to Ibarra.
The question for Minnesota is if Rasmus Schüller and his partner in the double pivot can hold their own against Montreal’s midfield three. If they can neutralize Montreal’s midfield, Minnesota should be able to easily take the three points this Saturday.
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