Minnesota United (n) Match Preview
Orlando City must go through its past in order to push towards the future.
Inchy v Pareja. Past v Present. It just had to be, didn't it? Inchy will always have a place in our hearts for building our beloved club from the ground up, but now he sits on the other side of history. He sits between us and a chance at success. Can we do it? I think we can. Here's how.
1. Learning from our past
A lot of these players were here last year when we got dumped out of the US Open Cup semifinals by Atlanta United and that had to hurt. The feeling of being so close yet so far away from silverware must have been painful for many of our players. Ruan, Jansson, Moutinho, Mendez, Akindele, Nani, Michel, Mueller, and DeJohn all played in that semifinal. Rosell and Rowe were on the bench. That Open Cup wound is still healing within this squad.
We must learn from our performance in that match to know what is needed to push ourselves into the final so we do not fall at the semifinal hurdle yet again. We are 180 minutes away from a CONCACAF Champions League spot. The money that competition brings and the players we can attract due to that competition can propel this club to a glorious future. In order to get to that future though, we must learn from last year's failure.
2. Take. Your. Fucking. Chances.
I'm sorry I say this all the time but it's our biggest issue. We keep putting ourselves in dangerous positions and we keep failing to take advantage of them. I'm not only talking about our shooting either. When we get into dangerous crossing positions, we fail to capitalize. When we have to choose between two decisions, we make the wrong one. Nani shooting instead of cutting back to Akindele. Mueller playing in Akindele instead of shooting from the edge of the box. Ruan crossing to the near post instead of to the top of the box. Pereyra snatching at a shot 8 yards from goal.
Minnesota United have scored 9 goals in this tournament but don't let that fool you. They've played some of the best teams and defenses MLS has to offer. They've played SKC, RSL, Colorado, Columbus, and San Jose. Again. They've scored 9 goals. If we faced those teams, I doubt we even score 6. Minnesota are a dangerous side going forward and we have to make sure that we take our chances in case they take theirs. That being said, I do still think we have the best defense in the league. We shut down LAFC. I believe we can shut down Minnesota too.
3. Who's able to play
This goes for both teams. I know Pareja said we have a full squad, but I'd still list Mueller, Jansson, and Urso as questionable. As for Minnesota, former Orlando City winger Kevin Molino and young-DP Thomas Chacon are both listed as questionable. All 5 of those players, if fully fit, would 100% contribute to this match either from the start or off the bench. If what Pareja said is true, then we are good to go on our three. Are Minnesota?
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Where to Watch: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN app, TSN in Canada
Stadium: ESPN Wide World of Sports
Team News (ORL): Dwyer (out), Urso (questionable), Mueller (questionable), Jansson (questionable)
Team News (MIN): Molino (questionable), Chacon (questionable)
Predicted Lineup: (4-2-3-1) Gallese, Ruan, Carlos, Jansson, Moutinho, Mendez, Rosell, Michel, Pereyra, Nani, Akindele
Score Prediction: 2-0 Win
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'Til next time, this has been Gavin Rushnell and #VamosOrlando