HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 13: A general view of the MLS, Fussball Herren, USA march ball on the field during the first half of the Major League Soccer game between the New York Red Bulls and Minnesota United on March 13, 2022 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire SOCCER: MAR 13 MLS - Minnesota United at New York Red Bulls Icon220332609

Minnesota United played their second game against the Portland Timbers in four days. They secured a 1-0 victory against the Timbers in MLS on Sunday in a low-intensity affair, as it was obvious both sides were saving their energy for the US Open Cup semi-final on Wednesday night. Both sides made several changes to their line-ups coming into this match, as they played brought in some key players who had missed the match at the weekend.

As the primary cup competition in the United States, the US Open Cup presents an opportunity to secure a major cup and qualify for the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League. Minnesota United has had a retched two seasons in MLS, having some of the worst defensive seasons in MLS history, but they have turned it around in their third season. They have already set a team record for most points and shutouts in a season, with 11 matches still to play. Also, their victory over Portland on Sunday moved them up to second place in the MLS Western Conference.

Portland Timbers have had a very up-and-down season in the league, but their run to the semi-finals of the US Open Cup has been impressive. They have defeated three other MLS sides en route, including Supporters Shield front-runner LAFC, scoring seven goals while only allowing one goal.

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Total Football Analysis Magazine #11: July 2019 - tactical analysis tactics
Artwork by @chapulana

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