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Three questions on Minnesota United with E Pluribus Loonum

The return match should look much different tomorrow night in Minnesota.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a while since we’ve done one of these things but I’m happy to welcome in Ashle Norling of E Pluribus Loonum to help us preview tomorrow night’s FC Dallas game against Minnesota United.

BDS: After struggling to get things going since the restart of the season. Minnesota exploded last night over Real Salt Lake in a 4-0 win. What changed about the Loons in that match compared to the previous ones?

EPL: Short version our offense actually showed up. In all seriousness we absolutely have been struggling since the loss to Orlando that knocked us out of MLS Is Back and scoring just twice on our own (the goal against SKC was an own goal) in four matches didn’t help. Heath has been throwing out pretty huge changes to the Starting XI and the formation the last few games. 5 changes from Dallas to Houston then another five to RSL, which included Dayne St. Clair making his first start in goal. And on top of those changes we’ve been struggling scoring from the Striker position all season with only 4 of 24 goals coming from Amarilla (3) or Toye (1). Last night our midfielders (and Gasper at RB) really took the mantle and ran with it. MNUFC is usually a team that does very well on the counter attack when we’re being out possessed, but last night it was taking advantage of mistakes from RSL. Gasper came charging in at the right time to hammer a goal to open the scoring, Robin Lod had some open space on his first goal and just used it to beat the keeper. Kevin Molino made Zac MacMath look foolish on the Molino->Edwards->Hayes play. And on the last one Robin Lod had some open space on a nice little pass, got his foot on it well, and just slid it in from about 13-14 yards out. Minnesota United finally took advantage of mistakes given to them and also created some very good chances with some solid midfield play.

BDS: From a Dallas-perspective, fans are curious to see how Jarcoi Hayes is fitting in with Minnesota. We’ve seen him score a couple of goals so far this year, are fans happy with what they are getting out of him?

EPL: That’s a tough question to answer as we haven’t seen a lot of Hayes in 2020. Part of that of course is due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent reshuffling of the schedule but also he hasn’t seen a ton of minutes while here. The first time Hayes was on the bench was in the MLS Is Back tournament opener against Sporting Kansas City and he didn’t make his first appearances until a knockout stage match against Columbus Crew. Since then he’s made two starts, both in the MLS Is Back knockout stage and come on as a sub twice. I would think locker room wise (and it’s a little harder to tell with everything being via video call) he’s fitting in well and he’s starting to make a case for more minutes as he always gives solid performances. As for the fans I have honestly seen nothing but love from them on and off the pitch for Hayes. Not only is he a good hard working player but he’s also been making an impact off the pitch after what happened in Minneapolis to George Floyd. In fact this piece from our colleague Andy Greder is great and I’d definitely check it out.

BDS: Minnesota recently signed Emanuel Reynoso from Boca Juniors. Talk about what that signing has meant to the club and what you all expect to get out of him.

EPL: Right off the bat #ReynosoWatch is finally over, that was quite literally my immediate reaction to his signing. The saga has been ongoing since at least the beginning of the year and according to Heath they had their eye on “Bebelo” for about a year now. Right now I will admit it’s a bit hard to figure out what we’re expecting from him as he’s been in Minnesota for I think a week and made an appearance the day after being signed but I’ll do my best here. Positionally speaking Reynoso is a very versatile midfielder but spent most of his time as an AM and LW with Boca Juniors. I think the versatility needs to continue for one and while it’s only been two matches that seems to be the case. Against Houston he was subbed on to replace Gregus in a DM/6 spot whereas he started as a CAM/10 against RSL on Sunday night. If he continues to play as a number 10 I think due to our striker situation we really would need either some heavy goal creation or goals from him. If Heath has him in more as a number 6, either alongside or subbing in for Gregus, he’ll be playing more of a pivot role helping to get the ball upfield and create the attack or start the counter attack. Honestly part of the issue in my opinion comes from the fact that all three of our DP’s are midfielders, also Thomás Chacón needs more minutes #FreeChacón.