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The United Beat

Jerry Zgoda writes about Major League Soccer and Minnesota United.

Three United players called up to U.S. national soccer teams

Minnesota United’s Jan Gregus, Robin Lod, Kevin Molino, Romain Metanire, Michael Boxall, Chase Gasper, Mason Toye and Hassani Dotson have been called by their national teams for international play during the upcoming FIFA break.

 

 

Gasper, a valued left-footed left back, was called last week for his first time by the U.S. men’s national team to a pre-camp preparing for its remaining CONCACAF Nations League games against Canada on Nov. 15 and Cuba on Nov. 19.

Toye and Dotson join the U.S. Under-23 team for a third camp, this time in Spain for games against Brazil next Thursday and either Argentina or Chile on Nov. 17 as it prepares for Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying in March.

Lod and Gregus will play in Euro 2020 qualifiers. Lod will play for Finland against Liechtenstein on Nov. 15 and then at Greece Nov. 18. Gregus will play for Slovakia at Croatia on Nov. 16 and then at home against Azerbaijan on Nov. 19.

Molino plays for his Trinidad and Tobago team in CONCACAF Nations League against Anguilla on Monday and against Ecuador next Thursday.

Metanire plays for Madagascar in Africa Cup of National qualifying against Ethiopia on Nov. 16 and at Niger on Nov. 19. Boxall plays for his New Zealand national team in 2019 for the first time in friendlies at Ireland next Thursday and at Lithuania on Nov. 17.

No place like home for MLS playoff teams; will Loons follow trend?

All four home teams won on Saturday’s opening day of the MLS playoffs.

Let’s see if Minnesota United follows the trend in the nightcap to six first-round games tonight in its MPLS playoff debut against L.A. Galaxy at Allianz Field.

Check back here about 6:30 p.m. for the United lineup and any updates.

UPDATE, HERE ARE YOUR MNUFC LINEUP FOR TONIGHT'S PLAYOFF DEBUT:

Most notable, star Darwin Quintero has been feeling ill and is not in the starting 11, but he'll be a sub off the bench along with Mason Toye, Hassani Dotson and Abu Danladi, among others. Coach Adrian Heath has chosen to start veterans Ethan Finlay, Kevin Molino, Angelo Rodriguez and Robin Lod instead.

Here's how it looks:

                                9 Angelo Rodriguez

            16 Robin Lod  7 Kevin Molino  13 Ethan Finlay

                        8 Jan Gregus   6 Ozzie Alonso

 77 Chase Gasper  15 Michael Boxall    3 Ike Opara   19 Romain Metanire

                                    1 Vito Mannone 

Substitutes: Hassani Dotson, Lawrence Olum, Miguel Ibarra, Darwin Quintero, Abu Danladi, Mason Toye.

Atlanta, Seattle, Toronto and Real Salt Lake all won at home on Saturday, all of them by a mere goal except for Toronto’s deceptive 5-1 victory over D.C. United.

Philadelphia and New York Red Bulls are playing in the other first-round game this afternoon.

That Toronto-D.C. United game went to extra time tied at 1 before Toronto scored four – count ‘em, four! – times in the first 15-minute segment of the 30-minute extra time.

United lost only once in the regular season at Allianz Field and that was a June 2 loss to Philadelphia.

Except for that one blemish, the Loons were 10-1-5 at a new stadium they’ve made a fortress.

Midfielder Jan Gregus was asked just how big a home-field advantage he expects now.

“I hope it’s going to be huge, like it was throughout whole season,” he said. “It was packed and a full house every single game. I hope it’s going to be no different, especially now. I hope its going to be even more. “

The playoff concept is foreign for a guy like Gregus who has played all his career in European leagues, where the closest comparison Gregus can make is a cup final.

“We know what we play for: 95 minutes and that’s it,” Gregus said. “Nothing to be like scared of or something like that.”

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