11:00 AM Pacific time At Minnesota United
TV: TSN1, CTV
Raido: TSN 1040
Minnesota will be without the services of Sam Cronin, Kevin Molino, Tyrone Mears, and Ethan Finlay. Abu Danladi and Christian Ramirez are questionable. For a team that relies so heavily on outscoring their problems, losing so many attacking players will cause problems. The Loons still have Darwin Quintero who has two goals and an assist in three appearances but it’s hard to see them getting a result if both of Danladi and Ramirez aren’t able to get fit in time. Mears’ absence is also a blow as Minnesota’s already frail defence will miss his experience. This means that Carter Manley (of the MLS best names XI) will draw into the lineup and will most likely play directly against Alphonso Davies. This is a match-up that the Vancouver Whitecaps may be able to exploit.
On the Whitecaps side of things, the only questionable players are Jordon Mutch and Kei Kamara. Cristian Techera is also suspended. Carl Robinson will have more or less a full squad at his disposal.
Who’s Worth Watching:
As I alluded to earlier, Darwin Quintero has been key for the Loons. With key players Kevin Molino and Ethan Finlay out with long term injuries, the Columbian has shouldered much of the offensive responsibility. With a huge 6.3 dribbles per game, Quintero will be a handful for Whitecaps centre backs Kendall Waston and José Aja -two men not known for their agility or 1v1 defending.
On the Whitecaps side of things, Alphonso Davies should be able to take advantage of the inexperienced Carter Manley. Manley has done all right after being thrust into the first team, but Davies is a tough assignment for someone who’s only played three pro games.
It will also be interesting to see if Yordy Reyna and/or Efarín Juárez come back into the lineup and, if so, how they play. Reyna did look quite dangerous playing with Anthony Blondell before being sent off. With Jordon Mutch possibly being injured, it could be a great chance for Reyna to finally rediscover his form. Then again whenever I designate a player as “one to watch” he inevitably plays a shocker. You have been warned.
Who’s Going to Win:
Vancouver should win but you never can tell with them. Minnesota are not very good at the best of times and have an awful injury crisis. I can’t even figure out who’s going to play on the left wing for them because every player who has played there so far this season is either injured or has been traded. If both Danladi and Ramirez are out then I’d almost say you may as well just give Vancouver three points and move on. They play the games for a reason though and Vancouver has already failed to overcome a heavily depleted L.A. Galaxy team this season, so nothing is guaranteed.
Prediction: 2-1 Vancouver
Vancouver (4-2-3-1): Marinović; Nerwinski-Waston-Aja-Levis; Ghazal-Teibert; Davies-Reyna-Shea-Blondell
Minnesota: (4-2-3-1): Shuttleworth; Manley-Boxall-Calvo-Theisson; Schüller-Ibson; Mystery Player-Quintero-Ibarra; Pangop