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MLS is Back QF: San Jose Quakes v Minnesota United

MLS is Back tournament quarterfinal: How and when to watch San Jose Earthquakes vs Minnesota United

August 1, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
The MLS is Back Tournament is back with another high-octane quarterfinal matchup between the San Jose Earthquakes and Minnesota United scheduled to kick-off on Saturday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcasted on ESPN 2 and streamed on WatchESPN for viewers in the U.S.

These two sides will look to go from an up-and-coming status to MLS Cup title contenders by winning the MLS is Back tournament. But to do so, they will have to reach the semifinals first. The Quakes come into this one boasting their lucky golden shorts and a 5-2 win in the round of 16 over Real Salt Lake. Meanwhile, the Loons arrive at this quarterfinal match after grinding-out a 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew, to then settle the difference from the penalty spot.   

San Jose's momentum in the series against Minnesota shifted after four wins in their first four meetings. Minnesota have since won the last three matchups, including a whopping 5-2 win before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the MLS to stop all operations in March. Thirty-one goals have been scored in the seven meetings between these two, so expect this upcoming quarterfinal to be a blockbuster. 

San Jose Earthquakes vs Minnesota United: Match Preview  

San Jose Earthquakes  

This is a must-win game for Matias Almeyda's Quakes. Not only because it is a tournament playoff game, but also because of the matchup's history since his arrival. The Argentinian manager has failed to win in his previous three games against the Loons and will do anything in his power to change the course of history on Saturday night. Maybe the lucky gold shorts can be the key for success.

Nonetheless, San Jose will enter the pitch as favorites having convincingly won their previous three matches. But what really strikes out about this team is the high-press, high-risk, man-marking style that Almeyda introduced early in his tenure. The players were quick to adapt to the philosophy, making them one of the most feared and unpredictable sides in the MLS.  

As far as the players, Almeyda kept a constant starting lineup throughout the tournament. The team plays like clockwork, meaning every player sacrifices himself for the greater cause. Some stand-out performers are center back Oswaldo Alanis, attacking midfielder Magnus Eriksson and winger Cristian Espinoza. And one cannot ever be left out of the picture is MLS all-time top goalscorer Chris Wondolowski who has scored three goals in the last three games after coming on as a sub. 

Injuries: Luis Felipe (OUT, leg)  

Minnesota United 

Major League Soccer analysts, fans, coaches and players are not buying into Minnesota United's "us against the world mentality" anymore after a successful 2019 season, and MLS is Back Tournament early run. Often considered as an underdog, coach Adrian Heath has made the best out of such claims. He uses this underdog mentality in press conferences to play mental games with the opposition and as an inspirational tool during locker-room talks. Anyway, Minnesota United will look to do what they do best, and that is to defy all odds ahead of them.

The Loons struggled in their first two seasons in the league, losing a combined 38 games, winning 21 and drawing nine. It was not until the inauguration of Allianz Field in 2019 that the franchise began to acquire some serious talent leading to success. Minnesota sat in fourth place in the Western Conference by the end of the 2019 MLS regular season securing its first-ever playoff berth.  

Like the Quakes, the Loons do not rely on individuals and play as a unit. They have been able to get positive results with the absence of 2019 MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara. Heath's only worry coming into the match will be the possible absences of playmaker Kevin Molino and right back Romain Metanire. If that is the case, 22-year-old Hassani Dotson will fill in for Molino and right back Marlon Hairston for Metanire.   

Injuries: Ike Opara (OUT, personal), Romain Metanire (questionable, left hamstring) 

San Jose Earthquakes vs Minnesota United: Match Preview 

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

SJ Earthquakes 1 - 4 Minnesota United

August 1, 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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