Orlando City vs Minnesota United Prediction, Odds & Picks
- Orlando should be able to maintain their success with Nani spearheading the attack
- Manager Oscar Pareja has made Orlando a well-oiled machine in MLS Is Back
- Will Minnesota once again steal the spotlight from a stronger opponent?
Orlando City vs Minnesota United Odds
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Orlando City vs Minnesota Predictions and Picks
The odds appear to narrowly be in the favor of Orlando. Although they’ve only had a couple of goals in the knockout round, it seems like a safe bet to select them for a semifinal win and a place in the MLS Is Back championship game.
Orlando for the win +148
How to Watch Orlando City vs Minnesota
|Orlando City vs Minnesota United Information|
|What||Orlando City vs Minnesota United|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Bay Lake, Florida)|
|When||Thursday, August 6th at 8:00 PM ET|
|How to Watch||ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes|
Who will earn a place in the championship game of MLS Is Back?
Will it be Minnesota? As the constant underdogs of the competition, “The Loons” have looked threatening in recent games with early goals that seem to jolt their opposition. Even with injury problems impacting the roster, Minnesota has gone toe-to-toe with elite clubs in the tournament and shown tactical flexibility that has allowed them to progress far into the knockout round.
Or will it be Orlando that steal a place in the championship? Under the guidance of new manager Oscar Pareja, “The Lions” have become a much more organized team in the defense and attack. Having a Portuguese international hasn’t hurt either. 33-year-old winger Nani has been near-perfect with his goal and three assists have carried Orlando to the semis.
The Nani Factor For Orlando
Despite the fact that he failed to score off a penalty in the 57th minute of the quarterfinal match against league giants LAFC, it was Nani who stepped up as the game-changer for Orlando. After providing an assist in the 90th minute that sent the knockout round battle to penalties, it was the Portuguese captain who scored the 5th and final penalty that secured a position in the semis.
Earlier in the tournament, Nani also scored a 97th-minute game-winner against Inter Miami and provided the assist for an equalizing goal against the Philadelphia Union.
Simply put: Nani is a clutch.
As long as he continues to thrive in the attack, Orlando has a good chance of earning that championship spot.
Heading Into The Semis, Orlando Look Like A Finished Product
There is much to be admired about Pareja’s setup with Orlando. Through a 4-2-3-1 formation that needed to deal with some obstacles in the group stage, The Lions have since outshot and outpassed their opponents in the knockout round.
In defense, they’ve been able to make all the right interceptions and tackles that have stifled teams like LAFC and the Montreal Impact in the knockout round. Despite the fact that this has also led to a number of yellow cards as well, the process has been obviously worth the trouble.
Pareja could still use another player or two to truly strengthen his squad, but at the moment, they look to be gaining the adequate amount of steam and momentum needed for an invite to the MLS Is Back championship game.
Can Underdogs Minnesota Once Again Surprise An Opponent?
Did Minnesota need a bit of luck in the round of 16 against the Columbus Crew? Most definitely. Did they also completely dominate the San Jose Earthquakes with a 4-1 thrashing in the quarterfinals? That’s true as well.
Stumbling into the knockout round with injury problems and only one win in the group stage, Minnesota hasn’t been given enough credit by their numerous doubters (such as myself) that were surprised to see them make it this far into MLS Is Back.
Guided by early goals in recent games, Minnesota should seek to once again flip the narrative on its head with an unexpected 1st half setback for Orlando. If they’re able to do that, the underdogs could once again be in a good position to spoil the party.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast.