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RSL vs. Minnesota United scouting report: The team(s) that just can’t win

Will Real Salt Lake manage victory against a team that’s suffered three blowout losses in four games?

MLS: Minnesota United FC at New England Revolution Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake faces the rather hapless Minnesota United on Saturday, and that should be ... fun. That’s the word, right? Fun. We have a new coach (Petke!), but he won’t be coaching. That’s probably less exciting, but that’s alright, too.

Both teams, though, can’t win. Sure, we’re just four games in, but during that time, Minnesota United have managed some awful results, and Real Salt Lake have managed some mediocre results. We’ve focused on ourselves plenty, so let’s take a look through Minnesota United’s results, going backward in time like some sort of interstellar traveler.

New England Revolution 5-2 Minnesota United

First off, it’s worth noting that this is on the road. Three of Minnesota’s four matches so far have been on the road. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the weaknesses, going

  • New England scored early — four minutes in — with a cross and a nice little header. They seem like they might be organized, or at least like they think they are. But it’s the little things that matter, and that hurt them early.
  • They’re vulnerable on the counter! That’s something that we should really think about. Can we take advantage?
  • They’re also not doing so hot with protecting the space between the full backs, the center backs, and the deep-lying midfielders.
  • Minnesota’s actually ... dangerous. If they could have figured out their defense and had a penalty or two not called against them, they might have won. I know, that’s a lot of ifs. Still.

Colorado Rapids 2-2 Minnesota United

  • A draw! Look at that — among the five or six-goal concessions, Minnesota also scraped out a draw. This one was with ten men.
  • Again, crosses matter. Penalties matter. They are things to which Minnesota United are vulnerable.

Minnesota United 1-6 Atlanta United

  • Never, ever take too much from a match in the snow — except, you know, the fun. Because this one was way too much fun.
  • There is a crossed goal in this match, but it’s the last one — the sixth goal in a six-goal beatdown.
  • You might think there’s a vulnerability on the flank here — maybe the full backs tuck in a little too much. Maybe they push up a little high and get caught out. Something. But don’t read too much into this one — the snow may be partly responsible for a fallapart here.

Portland Timbers 5-1 Minnesota United

  • Oh man. Crosses. Again. Two of the five goals conceded were from crosses. They were the two vital ones.
  • After conceding a penalty (there it is again...), Minnesota United fell apart. To take a popular idiom from Jeff Cassar, they did more than just bend — they broke.