Last weekend's disappointing 0-0 draw has all but eliminated the Silverbacks from the postseason. All that is left for Atlanta at this point is to win their remaining two games and hope the other results fall their way. Minnesota is secure in 3rd place and is getting ready for the playoff semifinals.
Lost 3-1 at Indy Eleven (goal by Brent Kallman)
Won 2-1 vs. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (goals by Campos, Mendes)
Won 1-0 vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (goal by Ramirez)
Drew 0-0 vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Lost 3-0 vs. New York Cosmos
Drew 1-1 at New York Cosmos (goal by Mravec)
Ndjock; Davis, Kallman, Calvano, Venegas; Ibson, Jordan, Mendes; Alhassan, Campos, Ramirez
Aaron Pitchkolan is suspended tonight due to yellow card accumulation. Justin Davis and Tiago Calvano are expected to return after missing last weekend's loss in Indianapolis.
Ceus; Black, Mensing, McKenzie; Porter, Reed, Burgos, Mendes, Kimura; Chavez, Mendes
Atlanta has switched back to their 3-5-2 in recent weeks after toying with some different lineups this Fall. Junior Burgos was forced to leave last weekend's draw in the first half, but is expected to be available tonight. If not, look for Michal Mravec to replace him in central midfield.
1- Deny service to Campos/Ramirez
Minnesota's attack is led by Pablo Campos and Christian Ramirez. They have combined to score 17 goals for the Loons in 2015. In recent weeks, Ramirez has been playing behind Campos as coach Manny Lagos experiments ahead of the postseason. Wherever he lines up, he has been one of the league's best players in recent years. However, both Ramirez and Campos rely on service from others to get their goals. If Atlanta can cut off that service, they can go a long way to keeping Minnesota off the scoreboard.
2- Creating chances
It's been a recurring theme for Atlanta in recent weeks, they need to create more scoring chances to have a shot at winning. Two straight scoreless games have nearly ended the Silverbacks' postseason hopes. With or without Junior Burgos, finding Jaime Chavez in dangerous positions will be key tonight. Chavez has scored seven goals and assisted on another seven in 2015. A strong effort out of him tonight is essential.
3- Worry about what you control
Atlanta can only worry about the game at hand and can't get caught up watching the league's scoreboards. It will take a complete effort to defeat one of the NASL's strongest teams. Minnesota hasn't lost at home since June.
How to Watch
Who: Minnesota United vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
Where: National Sports Center, Blaine, MN
When: Saturday, October 24, 8:00 p.m. ET