MINNESOTA UNITED FC (5-4-3) VS. DYNAMO (7-2-2)
8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, DAZN, KUBE 57, FSN+
Minnesota United FC look to remain undefeated at home on Saturday night when the Houston Dynamo make their maiden voyage to Allianz Field.
The Loons (5-4-3, 18 points) improved to 2-0-3 at home with a 1-0 win over Columbus last Saturday, courtesy of former Crew midfielder Ethan Finlay scoring his first goal of the season in the 70th minute.
Defender Romain Metanire notched his team-leading fifth assist on Finlay’s tally, leaving him two shy of MLS leaders Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC) and Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle) and one in back of Alberth Elis (Houston) and two others.
Vito Mannone posted his fourth clean sheet to move within one of matching Bobby Shuttleworth for the club single-season record. Mannone is three from tying Minnesota’s all-time record.
“I’m really pleased for the players. And, it’s another game without a defeat at home, so we can build,” United coach Adrian Heath said after his club did not relinquish a single shot on goal against the Crew.
All told, Minnesota has surrendered just one tally in its last four home matches.
Minnesota’s defense could be put to the test against the prolific Dynamo trio of Elis (four goals, six assists), Mauro Manotas (team-leading six goals, four assists) and Romell Quioto (one assist).
“In Elis, is there anyone more dynamic in the league? I don’t think so,” Heath said. “People underestimate how good he is in the air as well, because he’s a huge kid.
“And then Manotas has really developed. I think they’ve done a great job in bringing him along. Quioto on the other side is very, very quick.”
Houston (7-2-2, 23 points), which is 1-2-0 on the road, has been idle since midfielders Memo Rodriguez and Tommy McNamara scored one minute apart in the second half of a 2-1 victory over D.C. United last Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Rodriguez entered the match in the 10th minute, shortly after Elis was involved in a collision with D.C. United defender Steven Birnbaum.
McNamara, who entered the match just prior to Rodriguez’s goal, scored in the 68th minute after redirecting a cross into the net.
“It was a very good response by the players. I’m really proud of them,” Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera said.
–Field Level Media