Los Nerdes Verdes: Into the Loony Bin

How much potential Minnesota United has this season says a lot about what you think of the predictiveness of advanced stats. Last week, we looked at the comparison between each team’s expected results and their actual output. Just over half way through the season, Minnesota United have the unwelcome designation as the “unluckiest” squad with an actual GD 10.8 points worse than their xGD. Their xG/90 of 1.50 is the 6th-best in the league while their xGA is 9th-best. Both of those data points suggest a far better team than their 11th-in-the-West standing would indicate.

Among swirling speculation that he’s destined for a summer exit, Alex Ring’s been listed as Out on this matchday’s injury report. With the rest of the Verde’s ongoing CB injury issues, that likely means we’ll see either Nick Lima slide over to the center of the field, or Kipp Keller will make his first league start of the season.

Unfortunately for Austin, their thinnest back line in months will face a reinforced Loons side — having had the opportunity to reincorporate 2022 talisman Emanuel Reynoso who got on the scoresheet last week with a brace. Also set to make his debut is Finland’s all-time leading scorer and long-time Premier League/Championship striker, Teemu Pukki. 

In their last three games, Minnesota have played in two four-goal games and one five-goal game. Over the same stretch, Austin have scored three goals in a game twice. With the CB issues, it’s very possible we’ll see a more conservative tactical approach (Valencia in for Wolff?), but if not, we may see some fireworks. Despite a disappointing draw against the East’s worst team last weekend, Austin’s position in the table remained unchanged at 8th. There are only four points separating the Verde & Black from 4th place, and they have a game in hand on three of the squads making up those positions. Including today’s matchup four of the team’s next five matches are away. Alongside Austin’s June 10th matchup, we did an analysis of what pts/game that Austin need to hit to reach different playoff milestones, and it’s now or never. The team must get results on the road to improve their standings ahead of the League’s Cup break… why not start today? Listos!