Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

Image courtesy of Minnesota United FC

The 2023 Minnesota United FC home opener is upon us as the Loons host the New York Red Bulls in action Saturday evening at Allianz Field.

Ahead of the home opener, I ran a mailbag on twitter asking Loons followers to send questions my way, talking about all things MNUFC. Here’s the best of the bunch.

For Adrian Heath, success this year is advancing further than 2022. That includes all three competitions this season: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, The Leagues Cup, and the Supporter’s Shield. The Loons will want to find themselves in a hosting position for the MLS Cup playoffs as well.

It’s part of the constant questions for Minnesota right now. Where’s Emanuel Reynoso? Why isn’t he here? When is he coming back?

The short answer is nobody knows. However, the Loons have to look at life without him right now. Simply put, this squad needs attacking help. Their depth is young and raw whereas the starters have failed to be consistently productive in recent years. It’s going to be a testing time for the squad until the situation with their Argentine talisman is sorted.

He is! Amarilla is 100% available for selection come Saturday.

[Editor’s Note: “two-striker”]

I do, but at this moment, one of the two is an important option off the bench. Take that away and the options are bleak. Come April and May, I think it becomes more of a realistic option.

One thing players said to me all week is they’re going to adjust their studs to deal with the soft grass at Allianz. The pitch is rather untested and hasn’t built up the strength to withhold 90 minutes of soccer yet, so as a result, studs will be adjusted. Another fun little thing is Dayne St. Clair plans to wear medical gloves underneath his goalkeeper gloves to keep his hands warm.

Carlos Leatherman is actively being looked at as a potential 2023 Homegrown signing. Keep your eyes on him over the next few months.

I think players like Hassani Dotson, Joseph Rosales, Kervin Arriaga and Micky Tapias are good shouts. It’s tough to say, as there’s always a trade market. Plus, players age, and contracts run out. Dotson has the largest potential trade market in my eyes, though.

[Editor’s note: “or one horse-sized loon”]

I . . . hmm. Do I have any sort of protection or armor? Am I armed with bread crumbs to throw to the Loons for a distraction? Or possibly a water gun full of Surly Furious? There is context needed here, Nate . . .

Great question. The short answer is we do not know yet. Hopefully in the next 10 days or so things get sorted quickly. We should see an MNUFC2 schedule announcement in that time frame too.

I think this depends on the health of Lawrence, too, as Kemar took a knock in training early in the week. However, If he’s a go, I’d expect Valentin to get the nod after a really solid debut in week 1.

Easy. It’s 100% Ménder García. He’s never played at a frigid Allianz Field before. It will be a big test for the youngster.

Important question, Rodrigo. Hopefully come 2024 they show some respect to the Empanada as an elite food option.

The goal is to have Iwe ready to go come May, when it’s expected that the Twosies will have a string of home games at the NSC with Spring weather being welcomed.

Time will tell, though.

The Wonderwall is brilliant. They’re loud, rambunctious, intimidating and always bring an atmosphere to the stadium. I don’t think you can really compare supporters sections to each other without seeing them in person, but I’d have to think this group ranks high among the rest.

[Editor’s note: According to Zach Walker in the Pioneer Press April 7, 2019, “34 Degrees of seating incline behind south net, one of the sport’s steepest.”]

Hassani is indeed a go come Saturday, and is available for 90 minutes if selected to start. It’s definitely a situation to watch, as captain Wil Trapp is heading into the match with a rib injury, but is available to play if called upon.

By Jacob Schneider

Jacob Schneider is a freelance writer based out of the Twin Cities covering Minnesota United FC. He is a staff writer for, with other work found on & Follow his work on twitter @_JacobSchneider

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