2022 Season

What FC Dallas Fans Should Know about Minnesota United 


FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas’ first round playoff matchup with Minnesota United is fast approaching. Before the teams kickoff on Monday night at 8:30PM, let’s take a look at how Minnesota got here and what they may bring into Toyota Stadium.

Season Overview
Minnesota United finished sixth in the West with 48 points in 2022, five fewer than FC Dallas. It was an up-and-down year for Adrian Heath’s team, oscillating between one of the best teams in the league and one of the worst. Beginning in May, the Loons endured an eight-game run that included six losses, one draw and one win (which happened to be against FCD, more on that later). Then, Minnesota flipped the script and became the most in-form team in MLS with eight wins, two draws and a single loss during July and August. But it didn’t last. Minnesota entered the playoffs with a victory on Decision Day after going on another long winless run. So, which Minnesota United will Dallas welcome on Monday night? That’s the big question.

“They've been on a rollercoaster pretty much all season,” said Andy Greder, who covers MNUFC for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “What are they going to be come Monday at Dallas? I think it's anybody's guess because of the ups and downs and twists and turns that this season has been for this team.”

Key Players_
The main man for Minnesota is undoubtedly Emanuel Reynoso. The Argentine midfielder was an MLS All-Star this season and reached double digit goals and assists (10g, 11a). And his success isn’t limited to the regular season. During MNUFC’s run to the conference final in 2020, Reynoso dished out an absurd SEVEN assists and scored one goal over three games. FC Dallas will need to keep a close eye on the playmaker to make sure he doesn’t rediscover that game-breaking playoff form. And Reynoso isn’t the only danger man:

“A vital player for this team is Robin Lod,” Greder explained. “He's usually a right sided attacker or a winger. But given some of the issues that they've had in midfield, he's come back and played centrally as a number eight or number six double pivot with Will Trapp. He's just a really smart, savvy player. He’s a calming influence, can put a body in to win a tackle, but also can be a deep-lying playmaker. So, his return against Vancouver (on Decision Day) was huge for this team. He missed the last two and a half games with the calf injury and isn’t quite 100%. But he's a veteran guy who plays in the Finnish national team who's maybe the second guy on an MVP ballot when you're looking at Minnesota United right now.”

Minnesota United's Emanuel Reynoso dribbles past FC Dallas' Nkosi Tafari and Paxton Pomykal

Key Misses_
Minnesota hasn’t been lucky in the injury department. Bakaye Dibassy, Hassani Dotson and former FCD midfielder Jacori Hayes all suffered season-ending injuries earlier this year. Dibassy, in particular, has been a big miss for Heath’s team. The Mali international was a key part of Minnesota’s backline before he ruptured a quadricep tendon in late August. As unfortunate as it is for MNUFC and the player himself, Dibassy’s absence could make life a little easier for FCD’s front man Jesús Ferreira.

“(Minnesota) lost probably their best in-box defender,” Greder said of Dibassy’s injury. “He’s a guy who's really calm and smart on the ball. They feel confident in their backup, Brent Kallman, but whenever you go to a number two or number three guy, you're always going to have a level that falls off as well.”

Previous Matchups
Dallas and Minnesota faced off twice in the regular season with both teams earning a win away from home (which is a rarity in Major League Soccer). The Loons toppled FCD at 2-1 at Toyota Stadium in late May before Dallas returned the favor at Allianz Field with three goals in five second-half minutes. Minnesota can take solace in knowing they are one of just three visiting teams to have won at Toyota Stadium in 2022—but, somewhat surprisingly, Heath’s team is taking more from its 3-0 home loss to FCD last month. The ever-helpful Andy Greder explains:

“They also look at the 3-0 loss a couple of weeks ago in Minnesota as a positive, as strange as that sounds. Heath has said it repeatedly, it was, ‘five minutes of madness.’ And besides those five minutes, he felt like they were the better team. But that’s been an issue for Minnesota, when they give up one goal, they let it compound and give up two and three and the game gets off the rails.”

2022 Playoff Tickets On Sale Now!

2022 Playoff Tickets On Sale Now!

FC Dallas will host Minnesota United FC at Toyota Stadium on Monday, October 17. Kick will follow the New York City FC vs. Inter Miami CF match.