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RSL vs. Minnesota United: Three questions with E Pluribus Loonum

We got the scoop on Minnesota United and their biggest weaknesses ahead of Saturday.

Atlanta United FC v Minnesota United FC Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

1. As a former bad expansion side, I'd just like to say that we understand that it can be tough sometimes. What's wrong with Minnesota United right now?

Where do I start...? Seriously, though, the issue boils down to a lack of attention paid to the defensive side of the ball. The backline is in shambles. I don't know if it is a lack of talent or if it is a formation issue, but something has to change. Vadim Demidov should be moved into a CDM role, and in my opinion, moving to a 3-man backline could help solve some of the issues. The defense has looked slow and confused compared to the speed needed to compete in MLS.

I think, too, that the team should have worked to add a GK sooner than they did. In a perfect world, they would have kept former RSL keeper, Jeff Attinella, but at least Bobby Shuttleworth is looking decent. The problem is that the team has no true starting goalkeeper. Hoping Shuttleworth is that guy, but he needs a little more defensive help in front of him.

2. What's the biggest weak spot RSL might look to exploit?

The lack of communication in the defense. There will be long stretches of the game where the defense forgets who they should be marking. Depending on how Adrian Heath lines up against RSL, your offense may have its best game of the year. Remember that I said a 3 man backline may be the key, but I don't know how quickly MNUFC will switch. When the team is giving up 4.5 goals a game, taking a man out of the defense may be the last thing on people's minds. With the lack of communication, though, addition by subtraction might be the only way forward.

3. What most gives you confidence heading into the match?

Two things: We will be hopefully getting our international players back, and our offense certainly appears to have the talent to compete.

Against New England, the team was missing some key pieces on all parts of the pitch. Francisco Calvo is the key piece holding the defense together. Rasmus Schuller (minus one disastrous back pass against Colorado) has been a great central midfielder. And Kevin Molino has been a great pickup on the offensive side of the ball. I could tell that the team was missing those three against the Revs.

The offense has not looked bad. While they are not scoring in bunches like teams have been against MNUFC, if the team can plug the holes, the offense has looked competitive. With Molino, Johan Venegas, and Christian Ramirez all playing at a pretty high level, MNUFC can score with anybody...granted that they can stop teams.