Minnesota can‘t afford to overlook Colorado, no matter…

Minnesota can‘t afford to overlook Colorado, no matter what standings say

Minnesota United FC has had almost three weeks to prepare for Saturday night‘s game against Colorado at Dick‘s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. And the Loons, who enter the weekend six points out of fifth place in the Western Conference, know it‘s imperative they come away with some points against the struggling Rapids.

Colorado (2-9-3, 9 points) has the fewest points in MLS and is winless in its last nine games — snapping an eight-game losing streak with a 2-2 tie against with the visiting Chicago Fire in its last MLS match on June 13. Meanwhile, Minnesota United (5-8-1, 16 points), which lost 1-0 to Houston in the U.S. Open Round of 16 on Monday, will be trying to end its own two-game losing streak against MLS opponents.

“We‘ve been preparing now for the Colorado game for maybe 10 days because we haven‘t had an MLS game in weeks,” United coach Adrian Heath told MLSsoccer. “We have had enough time to look at them and see what their strengths and weaknesses are, so let‘s see if we can go and exploit them.”

That might be easier said than done. Minnesota is 1-6-0 on the road and has lost five in a row away from TCF Bank Stadium, getting outscored 15-4 in the process. The Loons lost at Western Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City, 4-1, in their last MLS game on June 3.

“On the road we have a tendency to open up a bit too much,” goalie Bobby Shuttleworth told MLSsoccer. “We have to dig in and limit their chances.”

“We don‘t want to be the team starts to find their form against,” added defender Brent Kallman. “It‘s hard to get points on the road in the league, but it is really important that we go in there and get three points. It‘s kind of a must-win game for us if we want to get back into the playoff picture.”

The Rapids, who started the season 2-1-2, scored two goals in the first 16 minutes in their draw with Chicago but gave the lead away in the next eight minutes, including an own goal, and eventually had to settle for the tie.

“The most important thing is, after a run like this, is we didn‘t lose,” Rapids manager Anthony Hudson told The Denver Post. “In the end, I‘m happy that we‘ve stopped the bleeding. That was real important.”

–Field Level Media

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