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The United Beat

Jerry Zgoda writes about Major League Soccer and Minnesota United.

Gregus, Alonso back for Loons vs FC Cincinnati tonight

Minnesota United's defensive midfield pairing is back.


Team captain Ozzie Alonso is in tonight's starting 11 tonight at FC Cincinnati for the first time since he sustained a hamstring injury last month. He played 80-plus minutes in an emergency in last Sunday's 2-2 draw with Houston.

His midfield mate Jan Gregus is back, too, after only two games with to play for his Slovakia national team after two Minnesota United games were postponed because of COVID-19 testing.

Those two players who tested positive before a postponed game against Chicago -- star playmaker Emanuel Reynoso and defender Jose Aja -- are back with the team and in tonight's 18 as available substitutes.

Hassani Dotson is out, of course, because of that ankle injury sustained Sunday due to a dangerous tackle by Dynamo Adam Lindqvist that brought him a two-game suspension.

Here's the lineup in the Loons' 4-2-3-1 formation against a Cincinnati team fielding its 19th different lineup in 20 games.

                             Kei Kamara

Robin Lod            Kevin Molino          Ethan Finlay

                    Ozzie Alonso         Jan Gregus

Chase Gasper  Bakaye Dibassy  Michael Boxall Romain Metanire

                             Dayne St. Clair 

Ethan Finlay returns to action and Minnesota United 11 tonight at Nashville

Loons veteran midfielder Ethan Finlay returns back to action and his team's starting 11 tonight in Nashville and Aaron Schoenfeld starts for Kei Kamara at striker.

So, too, does fellow midfielder Kevin Molino, who goes back into the 11 after he was a second-half sub in Saturday's 2-0 victory over FC Cincinnati in his first game back from a hamstring injury that kept him out since a Sept. 19 game against Houston.

Finlay is getting his 150th MLS start tonight as well while Robin Lod is getting a rest from the starting 11 and is designated a sub instead.

Coach Adrian Heath suggested Monday there'd be more lineup juggling here in this coronavirus condensed season to get certain players rest. He also had to do some juggling after starting central midfielder Jan Gregus left Monday to play for his Slovakia national team, maybe for the rest of the month.

Jacori Hayes will start in Gregus' place, beside Hassani Dotson while defensive midfielder Ozzie Alonso remains out injury for at least one more game.

Molino will start on the left side, Finlay on the right and attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso in the middle behind Schoenfeld in a 4-2-3-1 formation Heath has decided upon for tonight.

Newcomer Bakaye Dibassy moved from left center back to starting left back because Chase Gasper is suspended tonight because of yellow-card accumulations. Jose Aja moves in Dibassy's center-back spot.

Here's tonight's Loons lineup:

                          Aaron Schoenfeld

       Kevin Molino     Emanuel Reynoso    Ethan Finlay

                   Hassani Dotson    Jacori Hayes

Bakaye Dibassy   Jose Aja      Michae Boxall   Romain Metanire

                            Dayne St. CLaair

Substitutes: Robin Lod, Kei Kamara, Raheem Edwards, Brent Kallman, James Musa, Marlon Hairston, Adrian Zen

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