Scenarios presented by BMW | FC Dallas vs. MNUFC – 17.10.22

The MLS Cup playoffs are upon us, and Storylines is excited to continue the season after Minnesota United clinched their place in a dramatic victory Sunday afternoon at Allianz Field. Although the likelihood of another home game is low, the chance of winning more games remains, and the Loons’ first task takes them once again to the heart of Texas for their third game of the season with FC Dallas, this one for all. the marbles.

As the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs, Minnesota will have the privilege of traveling for as long as they can keep winning, unless seventh-seeded Real Salt Lake finds a way to cross his Texas game against Austin. The Loons will need to recapture the road form that marked their summer success, but recently eluded them. As has been noted many times on these pages in the past, the Loons have a record 19 points and six road wins this year; however, each of these past acknowledgments came with the caveat that there were more regular season games to play. Minnesota’s dip in form in September was not helped by their road work, as the Loons lost each of their last four road games of the year by a combined score of 10-1. This does not mean that they face an impossible task; among many positive signs, one of Minnesota’s six road wins this season has been at Toyota Stadium itself, as they overcame some past demons for their first road win over Dallas in league history. club. Four of those six wins have come against playoff teams. The Loons returned to scoring form against Vancouver on Sunday; the resilience of the route must then return.

At the end of the regular season, Minnesota and Dallas have a strange numerical parallel. Both clubs finished the regular season with 48 goals scored, including two own goals each. That was the median number of goals in MLS this season. Clubs have taken advantage of hot streaks at different times to get there; Minnesota’s best form has been in the summer, while Dallas started and finished the season strong, winning five in its last nine games to clinch the West’s third seed. The Loons’ offense was wide, with 15 different players scoring goals during the season and four players with more than five goals each; Dallas was big, as only 11 players scored, but Jesus Ferreira’s 18 goals (good for fourth in the Golden Boot standings) were nearly double Minnesota’s leading individual scorer (Emanuel Reynoso with 10). Ferreira scored the third goal the last time these two teams saw each other, as Dallas won 3-0 at Allianz Field in September. In the Loons’ 2-1 win over Dallas in May, the Loons got goals from Robin Lod (his most recent goal) and DJ Taylor (his only goal of the season). Taylor and Lod had chances against Vancouver, will the sight of Toyota Stadium inspire them to further success? Where will Ferreira find playoff success after a great season?

While the clubs were statistically similar on offense, Dallas excelled on defense. The Texas club finished with just 37 goals against this season, the second-best defense in the entire league. Minnesota’s task will be to figure out how to break them if they hope to progress. Dallas has allowed exactly one goal in each of its last four regular season games, which included two wins, a draw and a loss. The objectives: a Graham Zusi low shot in traffic for Kansas City, low shot in Colorado counterattack Diego Rubioa penalty in the bottom corner of Jeremy Ebobisse for San Jose after a handball in the box following a free kick and a chipped finish by LAFC Christian Arango of a crossing balloon. Take Arango’s outstanding finishing, and every goal Maarten Paes has scored in the last three games has been in one of the bottom two corners of his goal, with Rubio’s shot and Ebobisse’s penalty hitting almost in the same spot . Dallas’ defense doesn’t allow many quality chances; in four of their last five games, including the game between these two clubs at Allianz Field, the Texas team has held their opposition to 1.0 expected goals or less. When the odds roll for Minnesota, keeping a low profile could be the key to success.