United star Darwin Quintero is in the starting lineup today against New York City after he missed last week's victory at New York Red Bulls because of a groin injured sustained in the first practice on the team's new Allianz Field grass.
Adrian Heath said all week he might keep the same 11 that played so well in winning last Saturday both not to mess with success and not knowing if Quintero will be completely healthy.
Apparently he is.
Key thing to note: Kevin Molino is active as a substitute for first time in his comeback from knee surgery early last season.
Abu Danladi, a starter last week, moves out of the 11 and Romario Ibarra will play with Ethan Finlay just behiind striker Angelo Rodriguez.
Here's what the lineup looks like in its 3-4-2-1 formation without injured Miguel Ibarra (hamstring):
Ethan Finlay Romario Ibarra
Roman Metanire, Jan Gregus, Ozzie Alonso, Darwin Quintero
Francisco Calvo, Ike Opara, Michael Boxall
Bench: Bobby Shuttleworth, Eric Miller, Brent Kallman, Lawrence Olum, Rasmus Schuller, Kevin Molino, Abu Danladi
Here was my posting from a bit earlier:
On a day of such ceremony and celebration with Allianz Field’s opening, Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath is playing the part of pragmatist.
Fans have arrived early to gather at the Great Lawn on the soccer-specific stadium’s north side, partake of live entertainment and food-truck fare while they await the gate’s early opening at 1:30 p.m. for the 4 p.m. start against New York City FC.
Check back about 3 p.m. for today's lineups.
With all the fanfare, Heath has reminded – if he needed to – his players that three points are at stake after the Loons started the season 3-2 while playing five consecutive road games.
“There’s going to be so much going on,” Heath said. “The hard part is we can’t get caught up in the emotion of what everything is. For us, this has to be about the game and we have to treat it as such. We’ve spoken to players about let’s just concentrate on the most important thing for us, which is the game. I know it’s going to be a special day, but we can make it even more special by going out and giving a big performance and winning the game.
“That’s solely my thought this week. The club and everybody can do all the stuff they want to do, but we just have to concentrate and try to win the game.”
He said he doesn't want another day like the franchise's first game two years in their inaugural season at TCF Bank Stadium: They lost 5-1 to fellow expansion team Atlanta that day.
Heath has a decision to make about today’s lineup, with star Darwin Quintero back at training this past week after he missed last Saturday’s victory at New York Red Bulls.
Heath is contemplating keeping the same starting 11 that delivered last week’s well-earn victory and whether Quintero is completely ready to go on a day when longtime Loon Miguel Ibarra is out.
Ibarra will miss such a big day because of a hamstring injury sustained two weeks ago at New England. Quintero injury his groin during United’s first practice at Allianz Field two weeks ago.
Heath notes that Quintero not only missed the Red Bulls game but he was gone for nearly two weeks over the team’s bye week to finalize his green card out of country.
“It’s hard when somebody does what Darwin does on the field, but the team has to come first,” Heath said. “Because ultimately 11 is always beating one. But we’ve got a special one and he has proven that. We have to weight if he is 100 percent fit. Now he feels a lot better this week, but obviously it’s not something you treat lightly when you’ve got a guy like him.
“The thing about having a good group, we have strength and depth. We have better players all around. We have to make sure we actually make sure everybody is 100 percent because we do have who can contribute.”