With five straight wins in all competitions, Minnesota United are flying high. Meeting FC Dallas this weekend, here are some key things to watch for.
It has been quite the run of late for Minnesota United. Goals galore, stars performing at a brilliantly high level, a rise up the Western Conference standings and now a U.S. Open Cup semi-final. But they face a tough test on Saturday.
The Loons play host to FC Dallas. The Texans are a fellow playoff contender in the West and one of the most exciting teams in MLS, stocked full of young, burgeoning talent. Minnesota will have to play as well as they have done in recent weeks if they want to notch another victory.
Here are three things to watch for ahead of the intriguing weekend clash.
3. A rising star
After an impressive U-20 World Cup run with the U.S., young midfielder Paxton Pomykal is back with FC Dallas, and he’s making an impact in MLS.
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Seemingly one of FC Dallas’s best players every match at this point, Pomykal is a rising star, and the Loons will have to contain him if they hope to slow down FC Dallas. As an all-action central midfielder with terrific dribbling skills, great work rate and a neat range of passing, that will not be easy.
The task will likely fall mostly on veteran defensive midfielder Oswaldo Alonso, whose aggressive, physical style of play could frustrate the young Pomykal. Slovakian DP Jan Gregus will likely help Alonso with this task as they’ll just hope to throw the 19-year-old off his rhythm and make him uncomfortable.