A Loss in the Rose City and a wild few days for Minnesota United

Minnesota United midfielder Hassani Dotson (31) makes a slide tackle against Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Jean-Claude Ngando (26) in the match between Minnesota United FC and Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at Allianz Field in St. Paul, MN. (Photo by Michael Lake/Lake Photography)

After a rough loss in Portland last weekend, MNUFC once again gears up for a midweek clash, this time against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Loons, as has been the case recently, come into the match shorthanded due to a combination of injuries and international duty. The Whitecaps are also missing players due to international duty and injury, though nowhere near as many as Minnesota United.

Loons at Portland:

Hampered by a pre-match injury, Wil Trapp was replaced in the Starting XI by Moses Nyeman, who earned his first start with the Loons. Even with the last minute change Minnesota United stormed out of the gate at Providence Park against the Portland Timbers. The Loons opened the scoring with a goal from Bongokuhle Hlongwane in the 29the minute. Just nine minutes later Bongi sent a beautiful ball to Sang Bin Jeong, who finished the play with an outstanding goal to put the Loons up 2–0 near the end of the opening half.

However, right before the half DJ Taylor was called for a foul inside the box and the Timbers were awarded a penalty for it. That penalty was easily converted by Evander Ferreira in stoppage time to cut the Loons lead in half. Portland drew the match level in the 73rd minute with a goal from Santiago Moreno. Portland took the lead and the win on a Jonathan Rodriguez stoppage time goal, completing the Timbers comeback at home in the Rose City.

“That’s a really disappointing one, for me personally, because I’m gutted for the players because they, to have a man, have left everything on the pitch in a really difficult set of circumstances and showed real character, a real personality, a real sense of togetherness,” Eric Ramsey said after the loss to Portland Timbers.


On Saturday morning ahead of the Loons clash with Portland the club announced they had transferred defender Victor Eriksson transfer to Allsvenskan side Hammarby IF. Eriksson returned to Sweden after 6 months with Minnesota, having only made four first team appearances and six with MNUFC2.

The following day MNUFC officially announced the long expected transfer of Kervin Arriaga to Serbian SuperLiga side FK Partizan. Arriaga signed with the Loons in February of 2022 and had made a total of 57 appearances in his two and a half seasons in Minnesota.

As first reported by the Pioneer Press’ Andy Greder Injuries to Wil Trapp and Clint Irwin will keep each of the players out for potentially up to five weeks. Twos starter and the recently first team signed Alec Smir is set to start on Wednesday against the Whitecaps. On Wednesday morning MNUFC2 signed former Augsburg University and Minneapolis City SC goalkeeper Oscar Herrera to a contract. Herrera also signed a short term agreement, making him available for the Wednesday evening match against Vancouver.

Robin Lod was Minnesota’s only player named to the 2024 MLS All Star squad ahead of the 24-July clash in Columbus, OH with the Liga MX All Star team.

Loons vs Whitecaps:

Minnesota returns home after playing 3 of the last 4 matches away from Allianz Field, in the midst of a swing that sees the Loons playing 5 out of 7 away from St. Paul. The Loons enter tonight’s match on a four game losing streak, with their last win coming on 1-June against Sporting Kansas City. The Loons do have an advantage of sorts as since entering MLS, they have never lost to the Whitecaps in the Twin Cities.

Vancouver however, has been on the opposite trajectory as MNUFC as of late. The Whitecaps are 3-2-0 (W-L-D) over there last five matches played. Last time out the ‘Caps came back from being down 2-0 to St. Louis City to ultimately defeat them 4-3 on the back of a Brian White hat trick.

“You can only say one thing and that’s to be positive, to take the best from today, to be disappointed, to look in the mirror but move forward in as constructive and pragmatic a way as we can,” Eric Ramsey said. “It’s the only thing that can be said and the only attitude that can be adopted at the moment.”

While the Loons have struggled as of late due to injuries and international callups, MNUFC remains 4-2-4 at home in 2024. The Whitecaps meanwhile have a record of 4-4-2 away from BC Place so far this season.

By The Numbers:
MIN | 8-7-5 (29 points, 7th place in West, 13th in Supporters’ Shield)
VAN | 8-7-4 (28 points, 8th place in West, 14th in Supporters’ Shield)
Last Meeting: 6-May, 2023 – 3–2 Loss in Vancouver

Vancouver Whitecaps Availability:
Out: Sam Adekugbe (calf strain), Ali Ahmed (International Duty, Canada), Tristan Blackmon (groin strain), and Andrés Cubas (International Duty, Paraguay)

Questionable: Damir Kreilach (calf strain)

Minnesota United Availability
Out: Hugo Bacharach (knee), Carlos Harvey (International Duty, Panama), Clint Irwin (leg), Tani Oluwaseyi (International Duty, Canada), Teemu Pukki (knee), Dayne St. Clair (International Duty, Canada), and Wil Trapp (leg)

Questionable: None

Referee Assignments

Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Referee: Nick Uranga
Assistant Referee: Brian Dunn
4th Official: Calin Radosav
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr
Assistant VAR: Logan Brown

Tonight’s match is advertised for a 7:30 pm start with an expected kickoff of approximately 7:39pm CT. The match  along with all other matches tonight is viewable on Apple TV.