Playmaker Darwin Quintero is set to make his return from injury when Minnesota United take on D.C. United next week. His restoration revitalizes a stagnating attack.
Minnesota United will have plenty of player absences to worry about when they take on D.C. United on Wednesday. However, per the Star Tribune’s Megan Ryan, star playmaker Darwin Quintero will not be one of them.
The Colombian, who has missed the last two matches with a lower leg injury, has 10 goals and nine assists in just 19 matches for the Loons this season. He will certainly be a welcome addition to the side.
Though the Loons will be without Michael Boxall, Rasmus Schuller, Francisco Calvo, and Romario Ibarra on Wednesday, Quintero at least gives the Loons a chance at three points.
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He’s created something out of nothing on multiple occasions this season — at one point, he was being mentioned as an MVP candidate, such were the quality and consistency of his performances. Minnesota United will need some of that magic from him again. Former England captain Wayne Rooney and D.C. United have been in great form recently, winning five of their last eight games and flying up the standings to put themselves right in the playoff mix.
Quintero’s return will also give him another chance to form a connection with fellow Colombian Angelo Rodriguez. The DP forward is scoreless so far in four matches with Minnesota since coming over from Deportes Tolima, but he and Quintero have only played together twice and showed flashes of a dangerous partnership when they were on the pitch together.
With Quintero healthy again, the two Colombians will have another chance to fortify a potentially dangerous connection. It will be interesting to see if the Colombian pairing can shine against D.C. United and what effect Quintero has on the match overall.
If he is at all fit and firing, then it’s fair to expect Quintero to once again revolutionise this Minnesota attack. Certainly, Quintero has been the unquestioned beating heart of this team when he has played and the Loons’ threat subsides substantially whenever their star attacker is absent, as has been the case recently.
United failed to score against both FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City, the two games that Quintero has missed. In the ten games prior to the two-game absence, Minnesota scored 21 goals. Quintero either scored or assisted 15 of them. That yields a direct involvement in 71.4%. No other MLS player is in the same ballpark. Quintero’s return, then, is utterly essential for this Loons offense.
Can the Loons get three points against a streaking D.C. United side next Wednesday? It remains to be seen. But Quintero will certainly help.