It's Decision Day in MLS and your Minnesota United is playing along with all the other Western Conference teams, a 5:50 p.m. Central start against FC Dallas with a home playoff game at stake.
Win and the Loons move from fifth-place to fourth and hold off Dallas, Los Angeles FC, even Colorado.
Lose or draw and it opens up all kinds of possibilties, depending on how all the three aforementioned teams fare today.
“For me, it’s very clear: You win and you’re in that fourth spot,” Loons veteran midfielder Ethan Finlay said. “That should be our sole focus. It’s nice honestly knowing you don’t have to depend on any other result to go your way. We get to play at home on Decision Day, which is a great benefit. We know what’s at stake.”
Interesting about tonight's 11: Robin Lod playing up top with Kevin Molino, Emanuel Reynoso and Ethan Finlay behind him.
Striker Kei Kamara is not in the 18 (or the 20 tonight), apparently a late scratch.
That leaves the Loons with now true striker now that Luis Amarilla has had season-ending ankle injury and Aaron Schoenfeld is out with a calf injury.
The Loons also are without defender Michael Boxall (knee) and defensive midfielder Ozzie Alonso (leg), both of whom are aimed toward a return for the first playoff game.
Four Loons starters -- Kamara, Lod and Jan Gregus and defender Romain Metanire -- all are headed to national-team duty to play as many as three games each after tonight's game, here in this November FIFA international window.
None are expected to be back and through quarantine by the time the Loons play their first playoff game, which could be as early as Nov. 21.
“It’s a delicate situation, us and a few other clubs in a bit of a hole,” Loons coach Adrian Heath said. “If the quarantine stays at nine days, they’ll probably miss the playoff game, which is not ideal when you consider you work all year to make the playoffs.”
Here's your Loons lineup:
Kevin Molino Emanuel Reynoso Ethan FInlay
Marlon Hairston Jan Gregus
Bakaye Dibassy Jose Aja, Brent Kallman Romain Metanire
Dayne St. Clair
Substitutes: Hassani Dotson, Chase Gasper, Noah Billingsley, Greg Ranjitsingh, Sam Gleadle, Foster Langsdorf, James Musa, Kevin Partido, Adrian Zendejas.