Minnesota United: 2020 Preview – Back-to-back playoffs?

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Minnesota United

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 27: Minnesota United huddles prior to the start of the U.S. Open Cup Final against Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

With less than a month to go until the start of the 2020 MLS campaign, we are taking a look at how each team has evolved since last year and their chances this term. This time, we look at Minnesota United.

The 2019 season was Minnesota United’s best in their short MLS history. The Loons ended the regular season in fourth spot in the Western Conference, securing a playoff berth for the first time. They hosted the LA Galaxy, but unfortunately lost as the only home team to lose in the opening round of the playoffs.

Along with a good run in the league, the club also made it all the way through to the final of the nation’s domestic cup competition, the U.S. Open Cup. Minnesota United defeated Sporting Kansas City in the fourth round of the competition, before then downing Houston Dynamo. They then got the better of New Mexico United and Portland Timbers, but lost out to Atlanta United in the final, ending the tournament as runners-up.

Related Story: Minnesota United: Best-rated starting XI of 2019

Here is how 2020 shapes up for Minnesota United.

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 27: Ike Opara #3 of Minnesota United kicks the ball during the U.S. Open Cup Final vs Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Best Performers

Four of Minnesota United’s best XI were able to score a WhoScored rating of at least 7/10, with one of those winning the illustrious MLS Defender of the Year award. Ike Opara took home the individual accolade for the second time in his career. The centre-half played 30 times over the course of the regular season, chipping in with three goals and securing a rating of 7.04.

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Italian goalkeeper Vito Mannone was not one of those to average more than a 7/10 but he was awarded with the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award by his peers.

Romain Metanire, Darwin Quintero and Jan Gregus were the other three players in the Loons’ best XI from 2019 to reach the 7/10 mark for their performances.

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