Minnesota United in its third MLS season plays for its first trophy tonight against defending MLS champs Atlanta United here at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

They'll do with rookie Hassani Dotson in the starting 11 next to Robin Lod and Kevin Molino behind striker Mason Toye.

Darwin Quintero is one of the available subs, along with Ethan Finlay and Abu Danladi, among others.

The Loons sold tickets to more than 500 supporters who traveled to Atlanta for the game. Add the team's staff that traveled and others and the traveling party could number 750 or more.

U.S. Open Cup rules limit a team to five international players in its 18-man game roster. For this one, Minnesota United's five are goalkeeper Vito Mannone, defenders Michael Boxall and Romain Metanire and midfielders Lod and Jan Gregus.

Both teams came into the league as expansion franchises in 2017, but this will be the first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for either of them.

Loons coach Adrian Heath enters a stadium where the NFL's Atlanta Falcons also play as the willing undergo before a crowd that will approach 50,000 people.

"Nobody in America probably gives us a chance," Heath said after his team trained there Monday. "I wouldn't think anybody. The only people who think we have a chance are the people that matter and that's the players and the staff and we have to believe that."

The only television coverage is on ESPN's + streaming service so don't look for it on FSN or you're regular ESPN cable/satellite channels. You can hear the radio call with the usual FSN television crew on 1500 AM locally.

Also remember there are different rules at play because it's an Open Cup game: No video review, only five international players allowed per side and there will be two 15-minute overtimes and then penalty kicks if needed to determine who gets to hoist the Cup.

The Loons played here in May in a regular-season MLS game that was close until very late when Josef Martinez, held down until then, scored twice in second-half stoppage time for a 3-0 victory.

He has scored in 12 consecutive games entering tonight's final.

"One thing about Josef is, if you lose concentration in the penalty box invariably it's going to end up in the back of the net," Heath said. "He's got great movement. He's got good speeds. He takes a high percentages of his chances. He's an all-around striker, incredible in the air for his size. Very, very brave to try and get on the end of things. It's a 90-plus minute job trying to keep him occupied."

Heath calls Atlanta United with its 10-1-3 record at Mercedes-Benz "formidable" at home.

But there is precedence for a MNUFC victory: It won here with a comeback 3-2 victory late in its inaugural season after the Loons lost its home opener to Atlanta United 6-1 in the snow in their home opener way back in March. 

They scored twice in the 90th minute or later that time, with Kevin Molino scoring the winner in the 96th minute after now-gone Christian Ramirez tied the game six minutes earlier. Abu Danladi also knows what it's like to score here, having done so that night in the 48th minute.

"They were one of the most dangerous then, had an incredible home record," Finlay said. "But we went in there and got a big result. There are a lot of players now who played in that game and were on the team at the time. For me, I can only speak for myself. I'd love that opportunity to go in there and take it to them. There's a lot of expectation on them being the home team. I'm totally fine with playing the underdog role if that's the role we're given."

Here's tonight's United lineup:

                          23 Mason Toye

16 Hassani Dotson   25 Robin Lod   7 Kevin Molino

               8 Jan Gregus   6 Ozzie Alonso

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

                             1 Vito Mannone


Ethan Finlay, Brent Kallman, Abu Danladi, Bobby Shuttleworth, Darwin Quintero, Miguel Ibarra and Lawrence Olum

And here is Atlanta United's

                               7 Josef Martinez

14 Justin Meram                                   10 Pitz Martinez

              8 Ezequiel Barco      6 Darlingtton Nagbe

4 Florentine Pogba  5 Leandro Gonzalez Pirez  12 Miles Robinson  24 Julian Gressel

                                 1 Brad Guzan


Hector Villalba, Alec Kann, Emerson Hyndman, Franco Escobar, Jeff Larentowicz, Michael Parkhurst, Mohammed Adams

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