Minnesota United FC(4-0-0, 1st Place) is heading to New York to take on the Cosmos(2-0-2, 4th Place) in the toughest match yet this season next Monday, May 12th. Minnesota has gotten the job done so far against the bottom of the table, but if they want to have success this spring season, they have to pick up points the next 3 weeks.
New York Cosmos are a tough team to judge so far. Two 1-0 loses in which they looked like the dominant team for most of the game will do that. They have been taking a ridiculous number of shots, but few have been going in. On average 1 out of 7 shots go in, and almost all teams trend towards the average.
What that means for Minnesota is that they can’t rely on the same strategy that other teams have in beating the Cosmos, which was get an early goal and then bunker down and park the bus. Not that Minnesota would be likely to play that type of play.
According to the match line-ups, Cosmos have been switching up the formations each week. They have employed both a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield as well as a 4-2-3-1. With Guenzatti out with a red card this week, the team will likely play a 4-2-3-1, as the midfield diamond can be exploited by Minnesota‘s 4-2-3-1, with it’s numbers in the center of the field.
The 4-2-3-1 allows Senna to play further up the field, knowing that he has 2 midfielders in a defensive position behind him. Stokkelien up top has been the only forward to score so far, and will likely start against Minnesota.
Ultimately though, it will be a question of which team shows up for New York. Will it be the team that ran away with the fall season title last year, or the team that has struggled to score against San Antonio and Carolina?
Minnesota will get their opportunities on goal, just like other teams have against the Cosmos, but more important will be to limit the Cosmos’s looks at goal. Ramirez is a key component of Minnesota finding the goal, and he must put the ball in the net when he gets quality looks.
The fullbacks will play a very important role, as they will find themselves on an island at times against the Cosmos’s wings, particularly if the Cosmos play a 4-2-3-1, as the centerbacks will have their hands full with Stokkelien. It will be vital that they also get up the field to create mismatches in the attacking third, allowing our wings or Ibarra to slip behind the defense to set up a shot or cross.
Who To Watch
The Loons Ratings have been hard on Vicentini and Franks. Whoever starts in the defensive midfield provides a lot of support and allows Pitchkolan to roam around the field. A number of fans in response point to Vincentini’s ability to distribute the ball to the front, having started a number of the counter-attacks against Indy Eleven.
So this game, take a look at what these two are doing on the pitch. They work hard, and do things that are not immediately obvious in the game. They will tackle, move around the pitch and work to move the ball up to the attackers quickly throughout the game, while being charged with marking Senna.
1-1. A point on the road against the NY Cosmos will be great. Here’s hoping between the low turnout expected and the travelling Dark Clouds at the game, they are able to make a home away from home experience for the United.
The official watch party will be at Brits, while the Dark Clouds will be at The Nomad.