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Minnesota United to put strong form up against Dynamo

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Minnesota United, who have lost just once in its last 12 games, begins a run of consecutive home games on Saturday night when they play host to the Houston Dynamo at Saint Paul, Minn.

The Loons (6-5-5, 23 points) began the season with a four-game losing streak but have bounced back to climb into a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with Los Angeles FC thanks to a 6-1-5 run. The lone loss came on July 7 on the road to the Colorado Rapids 2-0.

“Having good players, really good mentality, not beating ourselves, which you’ve heard me say before,” Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath said, explaining his team’s strong string of results. “But more importantly, there’s a lot of belief in the team at the moment and a lot of competition for places.”

The Loons, who are expected to get starting center back Michael Boxall back from a thigh injury on July 7, earned a pair of 2-2 ties on the road last week at LAFC and against Vancouver in Sandy, Utah. The latter draw stung afterward because the Whitecaps tied it in the fourth minute of stoppage time on a penalty kick by Cristian Dajome after he went down in the box battling Ethan Finlay for a ball.

“It’s done,” Heath said of the questionable call that cost his team two points. “We can’t change it now.”

Finlay says it’s important for the Loons to turn their focus to Houston (3-5-9, 18 points), which is winless in its past 10 games. The Dynamo come in off a 3-2 loss at Austin FC on Wednesday when they played the final 70 minutes with 10 men after midfielder Darwin Ceren was red-carded for elbowing.

“Houston is a tough team,” Finlay said. “Always very good on the break, traditionally so. We’ll have to be aware of that, but I expect us to come out and control the game from the get-go, and behind 19,000-plus fans, that should be pretty easy.”

Houston, which is 0-3-7 over its last 10 games, has help on the way after acquiring midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla on loan from FC Cartagena in Spain’s LaLiga 2 on Thursday, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa.

“Adalberto is a young player who has excellent technical ability in possession, as well as the creativity to generate opportunities for his teammates and for himself,” said Houston coach Tab Ramos.

–Field Level Media

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