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Whitecaps FC-Minnesota United Preview
It's been close to two months since Minnesota United FC lost a game. And even longer since the Vancouver Whitecaps won a match.
Eying a fourth straight home victory, United looks to extend its unbeaten stretch to six games while trying to push the Whitecaps' winless rut to nine in a row and losing streak to a club-record six consecutive matches on Saturday night.
Minnesota (10-7-4) is 4-0-1 since a three-game losing streak that spanned May 29-June 8. Those four victories came during a run that ended with last weekend's 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake. Darwin Quintero padded his team lead with a seventh league goal off the season in the 57th minute, but RSL equalized in the 71st.
"We did really well, and we had a few chances and I think we could have scored one more, but that's football," midfielder Jan Gregus told Minnesota's official website.
Quintero had a goal with an assist when Minnesota overcame an early 1-0 hole to open the season with a 3-2 victory at Vancouver (4-11-8). The Whitecaps followed with two more losses, but ultimately turned things around for a bit.
However, since a 2-1 home victory over Dallas on May 25, the Whitecaps are 0-5-3. They've been outscored 17-2 during that five-game losing streak. Though Vancouver's latest league defeat came 3-1 at home to San Jose last Saturday, the team might have hit its bottom with this week's 2-1 home Canadian Championship loss to Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League.
While those type of matches tend to have little bearing on the MLS season, falling to a lower-level squad in the midst of a serious league slide only exacerbates the trouble for Vancouver.
"I don't want to share too much in what I envision where we need to be better," coach Marc Dos Santos told the Whitecaps' official website. "But, unfortunately, we're a young team and we feel like that in key moments we need to be more mature.
"I'm learning from (the team's current struggles), I'm growing from it. I'm not going to give up … This moment is re-charging my batteries of ambition big time, but we need to become better. We need to become better not only on the field, but also on what's next for our club."
Doneil Henry and Yordy Reyna are responsible for Vancouver's two goals over the last five games. Henry scored in the 81st minute against Minnesota and Reyna added an assist in that season opener.
Updated July 25, 2019