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May 31, 2024 7:50 pm

Minnesota United bid to extend SKC’s miserable stretch

dayne st. clair

After having a six-match unbeaten streak snapped Wednesday with a 2-0 loss at Los Angeles FC, Minnesota United return home to Saint Paul, Minn., on Saturday to face a Sporting Kansas City squad that has lost six consecutive MLS contests.

Minnesota (7-3-4, 25 points) enters the match in fourth place in the Western Conference, five points behind first-place Real Salt Lake but still has two matches and a possible six points in hand. Loons head coach Eric Ramsay said there is no reason to push the panic button following their first loss since April 13.

“There will certainly be no feeling of the walls caving in or any form of mini-crisis,” Ramsay said. “For us, it’s about the next game (and) the players that we’ve got available and how we put them on the pitch in the best conditions to succeed.”

One player that Minnesota won’t have available is midfielder Emanuel Reynoso. The 2022 MLS All-Star, who has had his share of off-the-field issues with the Loons, was transferred to Club Tijuana of Liga MX for an undisclosed fee on Thursday, opening up a designated player spot for Minnesota during the summer signing period.

Sporting KC (2-8-5, 11 points), who hold an 11-5-4 regular-season record in what is dubbed the Nicest Rivalry in Sports, bring a nine-match winless streak into Saturday’s match. They lost 2-1 at home to Vancouver on Wednesday and are in last place in the Western Conference.

Marinos Tzionis scored in the 92nd minute against the Whitecaps to avoid the shutout, as SKC heard their share of boos from the home crowd.

“I understand. I get it,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. “We’re not getting results. You can play bad and win and nobody cares. But right now, we’re not getting the results so I understand the frustration.”

Part of the problem for SKC has been a rash of injuries and suspensions to the midfield. Remi Walter, Erik Thommy and Danny Flores were all injured on Wednesday and Memo Rodriguez missed the contest because of a yellow card accumulation suspension.

“We’re missing midfielders big time,” Vermes said. “They’ve got to get healthy and we have got to keep fighting.”

–Field Level Media

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