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MLS is Back R16: Columbus Crew vs MNUFC

MLS is Back tournament round of 16: when and how to watch Columbus Crew vs Minnesota United

July 28, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
The most improved side since the start of the 2020 season will face the team that has proved to be the most dominant in the MLS is Back Tournament. Minnesota United and the Columbus Crew will take the pitch at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Tuesday, July 28, at 8:00 p.m. ET.

An ambitious Minnesota United 3W-L0-2D led by Adrian Heath will look to sneak past a strong Columbus Crew 4W-0L-1D. Columbus comes into the round of 16 as favorites after being the only side to retrieve all nine points. The Crew leads the short series between the two 2W-0D-1L.

Things got a bit heated when coaches conducted their pre-game press conferences.

Also, expect a rainy night and don't be surprised if there are storm delays. 

Columbus Crew vs Minnesota United: Match Preview

Columbus Crew

The Black & Gold got off to a dreamy start to the MLS is Back Tournament after defeating the New York Red Bulls, Atlanta United and Cincinnati FC. Add their win and draw before lockdown, and they sit in first place overall in the MLS. Moreover, the group has displayed an attractive progressive possession style that has offered offensive and defensive soundness.

Tonight's Starting XI vs. @MNUFC #Crew96 | @MAPFREIns

— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) July 28, 2020

Caleb Porter's squad rotations have been on point so far in the tournament. Only three players featured in all three games in striker Gyasi Zardes, midfielder Darlington Nagbe and center back Jonathan Mensah. Argentinian attacking midfielder Lucas Zelarayan did not start against Atlanta United but had an important role in the games against Cincinnati and New York, scoring two goals and providing an assist. The Crew also kept clean sheets across all groups stage games.

Player to watch

Lucas Zelarayan arrived at Columbus on January 1 from Tigres UANL. Since then, he's played five MLS games and had as many goals contributions as he had in 15 Liga MX Apertura appearances. These first MLS performances are a sneak peek to what Zelarayan has in store at this level. Having just turned 28 years old, the Argentine will look to have one of the best seasons of his career.

Injuries: Vito Wormgoor (OUT, ankle surgery), Eloy Room (questionable, hamstring)

Minnesota United

Columbus is not the only team heading into this match with positives on their side. The Loons have proven to be a strong and resilient side so far this year. Defeating Portland and San Jose before the pandemic, Minnesota headed into the MLS is Back Tournament with lots of momentum.

our crew for this evening...

— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) July 28, 2020

Having gone down 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City in the first half of their opening match, Minnesota crafted a monumental comeback in added time to win 2-1. The Loons then drew their following two games against Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake finishing group play with five points. Not a bad result as they are playing without Defender of the Year Ike Opara. Minnesota United will need to add a little something else to the mix if they want to reach the quarterfinal round.

Player to watch

Twenty-nine-year-old Ethan Finlay had an impressive showing last time out against the Colorado Rapids scoring two goals. Having previously played for the Crew, he'll be looking to have an eventful night. He'll look to connect with Hassani Dotson, Luis Amarilla, Jan Gregus and other pieces to get the ball in the back of the net. 

Injuries: Ike Opara (undisclosed), Kevin Monilo (questionable, left hamstring) 

Columbus Crew vs Minnesota United: Broadcast information 

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Columbus Crew 1 - 1P Minnesota United

July 28, 2020 8:00pmESPN Wild World Sports Complex

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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