Minnesota United’s 0-4 start this season came about five months ago, but the Loons can’t let go of the past.
The MNUFC (10-9-7) is seventh in the Western Conference to be held at FC Dallas (6-13-9) on Saturday. The fact that the Loons are in the final MLS Cup playoff spot is a testament to how they have bounced back since that poor opening four games.
But their precarious position and the reason why they are not high in the standings is how they got out of the starting blocks. Two draws with San Jose and one each against Dallas and Vancouver are also a factor.
While Minnesota lost 3-1 to DC on Wednesday, six of the top eight teams in the West scored points, and the five clubs ahead of them won. The Loons, who have eight games left, have played one less game than the three teams ahead of them (Portland, Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy).
The Lunes needed all three points against 11th-ranked Dallas, who fired head coach Luchi Gonzalez on September 19.
Minnesota rested attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and defensive middle Ozzy Alonso on Wednesday; He is expected to return later this week.
Saturday’s game assumes importance given how shorthanded the Loons will be for the Colorado Rapids game on October 10 at Allianz Field.
Due to the World Cup qualifiers, the Loons will be without three starters and one reserve. Leading scorer Robin Lod and backup defender Jukka Raitala will join Finland; Top center back Michael Boxall meets New Zealand; And starting right behind, Romain Metnier goes to Madagascar.