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Minnesota United FC Routs Visiting Los Angeles FC 5-1

by on 22 July 2018

Three home matches, three wins. Minnesota United FC beat Los Angeles FC 5-1 off Rasmus Schüller’s first goal for the Loons, two goals for Christian Ramirez, and a goal each for Miguel Ibarra and Darwin Quintero.

Lineup

Minnesota has settled into a line up that Coach Adrian Heath appears comfortable with, with the familiar 5-3-2 formation of the previous matches. The back three featured Francisco Calvo, Brent Kallman, and Michael Boxall, with Alexi Gomez and Ibarra out wide as wingbacks. Gomez would go off in the first half with an injury and be replaced by Eric Miller.

The midfield was again Ibson, Schüller, and Collen Warner, with Warner tasked as the primary defensive midfielder.

Up top was Quintero and Ramirez whose partner play as of late has provided much of spark for Minnesota on offense.

1st half

Los Angeles FC has played a high press for much of the season, but having played a midweek game, Coach Bob Bradley decided to rotate a number of their players. While the high press was still successful in creating a number of turnovers in the attacking third, it failed to create the opportunities on goal that the visitors had hoped.

Minnesota United found a number of gaps in the defense, and the fleet feet of Ibarra and Quintero allowed Minnesota to find the back of the net three times in the first half.

To start the half, Minnesota looked more interested in preventing a bad turnover, sending the ball beyond the touch line much more frequently than usual.

However, as both teams settled into the match, Minnesota sent more forays into the attacking third.

The first real chance came in the 17th minute. It started with a pass in by Schüller that was dummied by Quintero. Ramirez received the pass near the top of the box, before passing it back to Quintero, but the shot was saved by Tyler Miller.

It would be another chance on a quick break that would give Minnesota the lead on the game.

A cheeky, side of the foot pass from Ibson sprung Quintero, who raced with the ball to the right side of the box. His pass back to Schüller gave the midfielder a wide open net, and he slotted it in to open the scoring for the Loons.

It wouldn’t be long before LAFC would even the scoring. A goal by USMNT international Benny Fielhaber was created by a turnover just outside the Loon’s box, forcing the team to scramble to defend. Unable to clear the ball, eventually Latif Blessing was able to find Feilhaber onside to even the score at one apiece.

Minnesota let the game settle for a bit after giving up the lead, but managed to score their first set-piece goal of the season right before halftime.

After the ball bounced around the box off a Minnesota corner, it fell to Ramirez, who poked it into the net for his second goal since being called out by E Pluribus Loonum.

Many of the fans in the stands would have be forgiven if they had already started up the stairs for the halftime break when Quintero expanded the lead to 3-1. Eric Miller sent a beautiful through ball to the diminutive Colombian, who scored his 9th goal since joining the team in March.

A match that looked like anyone’s five minutes before the half quickly turned into a match that was Minnesota’s to lose as the teams headed into the locker room for halftime.

Second half

Los Angeles came out in the second half looking to quickly get into the match, closing quickly anytime Minnesota had the ball and pressing hard on goal. Minnesota was able to weather the attack successfully with stout defending and goalkeeping.

In the 55th minute, a mistake by the backline of LAFC inside their box was pounced on by Miguel Ibarra, and Minnesota was now up 4-1 on the second place team in the West.

As the stadium announcer was calling out Ibarra’s goal, Ramirez got his second tally of the night. In the 58th minute, Ramirez scored off an Ibarra assist, and Minnesota was firmly in the driver’s seat of the second clash of between the latest Western Conference expansion teams.

Bobby Shuttleworth and the defense had their work cut out for them keeping the score at 5-1, but the home side held on and notched their third win in a row and their first MLS winning streak.


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