2018 Fantasy Primer Minnesota United Preview

Minnesota United

Minnesota United 2017 Review

It could have been worse. Coming out of the gate, the Loons were decimated. To their credit, the Loons quickly moved to bench their captain Vadim Demidov. In the summer, the Loons brought in Ethan Finlay who scored a few goals upon his arrival. What was suspected to be the worst team in MLS history managed to beat a few teams in the standings and seemed to have a better foundation than expected to build upon for next year.

Transaction Watch

Out: Venegas was loaned to Saprissa

IN: Uuuhhhh….Harrison Heath? They were in a lot of conversations that ultimately didn’t work out (Asad and Kljestan the most prominent). They still are getting linked, but at this point you need to see a guy holding a jersey before believing the Loons have gotten a deal closed.

The Loons did bring in Matt Lampson to compete with Bobby Shuttleworth, and also are widely praised for their draft.

Expected/Predicted Starting XI Picture

My lineup is based on last year, as the new faces haven’t inspired Loons fans with a lot of confident that they can displace them. However, there are wrinkles to this. First, this lineup leaves out Abu Danladi, and I can see Heath try to trot out Danladi more frequently in his sophomore season. Second, the Loons are clearly after a number 10. After missing out on Sacha, they are now pursuing Nicolas Benedetti. If that happens, Kevin Molino’s fate is unclear as he would be competing naturally with Finlay.

Tactical Analysis

Minnesota had the offensive talent to be a possession team, but their poor backline outside of Francisco Calvo has necessitated a conservative approach. Heath favored a 4-4-1-1 last year, but may experiment with different lineups to try to get Danladi and possibly Molino if they get a new 10 some minutes.

Closing Fantasy Thoughts & 2018 Expectations

With the team being mostly unchanged from this point, I’d expect about the same. Calvo was a decent bonus point generator if you didn’t mind risking the negatives from goals allowed, but Finlay, Ibson and Cristian Ramirez all offered discount prices that can allow you to fill out your roster. That’s what I’m expecting again this year as I expect the Loons to continue to score fairly decently but be dragged to well outside the playoff picture by their backline.

About Michael Denton

Mike has been a member for the MLSFB team since 2016 and is the founder of the MLS Injury News account on twitter. When not tracking down the latest injury reports, mike is cheering for New York City FC.

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