Minnesota United final regular season game plus preview of the playoffs

By: Aeden Evenson-McDermott

Image taken from: https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/minnesota-united-bullish-on-playoff- chances-this-group-can-win-games-anywhere

On Decision Day in MLS, the Loons hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps at home at Allianz Field. Coming into this game, there were high expectations and a good amount of pressure on the Loons to finally win a game after not winning a game in the previous six fixtures. If the Loons won they would be into the playoffs! A loss would be the end of the season and a tie would get them over the line but only receiving the seventh spot. As for Vancouver, they would have to win the game outright.

The final game of the season at home would be crucial in order for the Loons to have the home team momentum. The record setting number of fans echoing voices boosted the Loons momentum and would help the team through the match.

Vancouver would be off to the start early with a few beautiful opportunities to score against the Loons, especially in the 6th minute when Vancouver was in front of the goal and almost scored. They would also have a few other chances but none could reach the back net. Loon’s goalkeeper, Dayne St. Clair had glorious saves and made sure the ball stayed out of the net.

After a nerving start, the Loons got composed and in the 17th minute, Argentine midfielder Franco Fragapane rolled the ball into the bottom right corner. 1-0 loons!

Throughout the remaining time of the first half and even into the second half, both the Loons and the Whitecaps showed their progressive attacking chances going forward.

An All Star performance by goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, who also received the Man of the Match, helped the Loons keep a clean sheet (not since July 16) and not concede a goal vs Vancouver.

The end of Vancouver’s season would be when newly arrived midfielder Jonathan González slammed the ball into the back of the net in the 77th minute!

The Loons showed their character after some unfortunate matches in order to book their spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. They would receive the 6th spot and would make the playoffs for the 4th straight year!

Looking to Monday October 17th, the Loons will travel to Dallas to take on the 3rd spot team, FC Dallas, at 8:30 pm for the first round of the playoffs. Dallas is a strong team but results have not been the best for them as of late. T

he Loons will have to prove once again how they can play anybody day in day out in order for a victory. It should be a good game and a true test for both teams. The MLS Playoffs should be exciting and best of luck to all teams!

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