Preview: Minnesota United FC (4-3-1) takes on expansion club Rayo OKC (2-4-2) in a match important to the Loons’ fading spring season championship hopes. Minnesota and three other clubs — New York, Indy Eleven and Carolina — remain title contenders. New York concludes its season Saturday and could seal the title with a victory. A draw or loss would open the door for the other teams, but they would need to win both of their remaining matches to have a shot. Minnesota is slumping, having dropped its past two North American Soccer League matches. But the Loons got a spark Wednesday, defeating St. Louis in the U.S. Open Cup tournament.
Players to watch: The depth of Rayo OKC will be tested. Three regulars — Michel, Gerogios Samaras and Billy Forbes — all received red cards in the last league match. They were ejected and must sit out Saturday’s match. Derek Boateng is also out after getting his league-leading fifth yellow card of the spring season.
Numbers: Christian Ramirez leads the Loons with four goals but has not scored in the past three league matches.
Injuries: Minnesota midfielder/forward Ben Speas, sidelined the past two league matches because of an ankle sprain, made the trip to Oklahoma City.
“Christian hasn’t scored since Speas went down; his supply line disappeared,” Minnesota coach Carl Craig said.
“Speas is the pipeline that moves the ball from the back to the front.”