Impact, Minnesota United hope to snap skids

Saturday’s match between Minnesota United FC and the Montreal Impact featured two teams from opposite sides of the same coin.

The Loons can score but get scored on even more while the Impact have gone three straight matches without finding the net.

Both squads will be looking to snap three-match winless streaks when they square off at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

It will be the second-ever meeting between the two sides; Minnesota won their first game 3-2 on Sept. 16, 2017.

The Loons (4-7-1, 13 points in 12 matches) played Western Conference-leading Sporting KC to a 1-1 tie last week to end a two-match losing streak, with Darwin Quintero’s goal on a rebound of his own blocked shot allowing Minnesota to split the points.

Loons goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth tied his career high of nine saves. United ended the game with six shots, four on goal. He said it was important for the team’s playoff chances to hang on to at least a point in games like this.

“To get in the playoffs, it’s results like that where you’re picking up a point here and there when you didn’t deserve it that usually make the difference in being around the hunt,” he said.

Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said his team is starting to get a little bit more of a “steely resolve.”

“I said earlier this month that at the end of this homestand we’ll probably have a better picture of where we are, and I still believe that,” Heath said after the game. “This time next week after we play Montreal, and look at the league table, that will probably give us an idea and a fair reflection of where we are.”

Minnesota has allowed 15 goals in the first halves of games this year, the most in the league. They have conceded 11 goals in the first 30 minutes of games this year, while no other MLS team has conceded more than 11 goals in the first 45 minutes of their games this year.

Meanwhile, the Impact has lost three straight matches, including last week’s 1-0 setback at home to the Los Angeles Galaxy, who were down to 10 men when they scored the game-winner in the 75th minute.

“We weren’t decisive enough offensively,” Impact coach Remi Garde said after the loss to the Galaxy. “All week, I had issues to deal with, because I didn’t have the entire team to work with. In this game, it was offensively that we weren’t good enough.

“There were many situations we should’ve exploited better. We weren’t dangerous enough, not aggressive enough to get on the end of our crosses especially. We paid for it in the last 45 minutes.”

Montreal has dropped seven of its past eight games, and hasn’t scored in 292 minutes of game action, dating back to Ignacio Piatti’s goal in the 68th minute of the Impact’s 4-2 win over New England on May 5. It has been outscored 22-9 over those eight games.

“Obviously we’re down at the moment. Losing that many games is obviously tough on the boys? confidence-wise,” Montreal defender Michael Petrasso said after the loss to Los Angeles. “We have another game next Saturday and we need one win just to bounce the spirits and I think that will put us on a run. Right now, it feels like it’s getting lower and lower.”