Minnesota United star Darwin Quintero is available to play Saturday at Chicago for the second consecutive week, but it could be as a substitute again on his way back from an injured ankle sufferd two weeks ago against D.C. United.
Ethan Finlay started on the right side last Saturday in the Loons’ 1-1 draw with Seattle and delivered what United coach Adrian Heath deemed his “best game” this season.
Meanwhile, Miguel Ibarra started on the left just behind striker Angelo Rodriguez. Quintero came off the bench in the 76th minute for Rasmus Schuller.
Having Quintero out wide when the team plays three midfielders — Schuller, Jan Gregus and Ozzie Alonso — together to keep possession of the ball more, as it did against Seattle, “probably isn’t his best role,” Heath said.
“At this moment in time, we have more strength and depth than we’ve had,” Heath said. “People are playing well in their spots. I do know Darwin’s chances and time will come. No doubt.”
Fire to downtown?
United likely makes its last visit to the Chicago Fire’s SeatGeek Stadium, located about 15 miles from downtown Chicago in suburban Bridgeview, Ill., on Saturday.
The Fire appears headed back downtown to Soldier Field, where it played until 2006, as soon as next season after the team reached an agreement to buy out its current lease for $60.5 million over the next 15 years.
“No doubt, if Chicago had a downtown stadium it would completely change that club,” Heath said. “I can remember some of the games at Soldier Field, where they got great crowds. There are football fans in the city. We know that because every time they play downtown and it’s a big game, it’s 70,000 people there.
“There are two, three clubs that would really benefit from being in a new location or a new venue. They’re probably one of them.”
Left side OK for Ibarra
In United last game, Ibarra started on the left side just behind striker Rodriguez while Finlay played Ibarra’s customary right side.
On the left side, he’ll have to learn outside back Eric Miller’s ways after growing comfortable with Romain Metanire on the right side.
“Right to left, I’m comfortable with both sides,” Ibarra said.
“I know Eric is a little different player. He likes to stay back. It gives me the freedom to do my offensive stuff. I’m able to cut in and combine with Angelo [Rodriguez] or Darwin more.”