For Minnesota United, Saturday can answer a lot of doubters

Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

It could be a statement match for Minnesota United this Saturday against FC Dallas, a fixture that could answer a lot of questions about the club moving forward.

Midweek, Minnesota United landed their first points of the season, a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Now hosting a struggling FC Dallas side, they have the opportunity to secure more points this weekend.

And, if they are able to get a result for a second straight game, they’d get themselves back in the thick of a competitive Western Conference. It would also make believers of doubters after a rough start to the season.

Wednesday’s win over the Whitecaps made Minnesota United the last team in MLS to secure points this season. The hard-fought, sometimes gritty match wasn’t the prettiest soccer from Minnesota United but the end result got their season (finally) headed in the right direction for head coach Adrian Heath.

“I think the most important thing is it’s put a little bit of belief in the players, that will certainly do their confidence no harm which is always really important in any team,” Heath told reporters this week ahead of the match against FC Dallas.

“I felt as though we had been playing well enough and not the rewards we deserved so it was nice to come away with the three points. As I said, it will probably set the lads up in a better frame of mind for the game against Dallas which we know is going to be difficult.”

Minnesota United now sits at 1-4-0 (3 points) on the season. FC Dallas is currently at 1-1-2 (5 points).

For Minnesota, the result was especially encouraging defensively. Obviously, this was the first time all year that the club has registered a shutout. They came into the match with the second highest goals per game conceded in the league, allowing 2.5 points goals per game through their first four games.

FC Dallas comes into this match at Minnesota United with some level of momentum. They have four points from their last two matches with a home draw this past weekend against the Houston Dynamo, a club that looks considerably improved under head coach Tab Ramos.

In their previous outing prior to the Dynamo match, FC Dallas showed their offensive potential in a 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers.

“They’re a very dangerous team. I think they have some good attacking options. They’ve got good service into the box and are very creative on their set pieces,” Minnesota United goalkeeper Tyler Miller said.

“It’s something that we have to, as a team, collectively approach this game the same way we did against [Vancouver]. If we can have that same disciplined, defensive mindset, it will lead to us getting opportunities on the break and I think it’s the way we need to turn around the season. With how it started, it was not what we expected. If we have this defensive mentality, we’re really strong, tough to play against, I think we’ll be able to turn everything around.”

Follow Kristian Dyer of ‘MLS Multiplex’ on Twitter @KristianRDyer