Major League Soccer’s expansion class of 2017 is set to do battle for the first time every today as Atlanta United and Minnesota United face each other in what is expected to be one of the coldest matches in league history. Going from a balmy, historic night last Sunday to freezing temperatures and another raucous crowd probably isn’t how Tata Martino and his bunch expected their MLS campaigns to begin, but here we are.
Match time temperatures are expect to be around 25 degrees with a slight chance of wintery precipitation in the forecast. Needless to say, it’s going to be an intense and extreme atmosphere in stark contrast to what most of Atlanta’s players and supporters are used to. But, there’s still a job to be done.
Both clubs are looking for their first points in MLS ever after losing their opening matches. The Five Stripes dropped a heartbreaking match to the Red Bulls after leading late and coughing up a lead thanks to some defensive breakdowns. Meanwhile, Minnesota United got off to a slow start against the Portland Timbers, came on strong in the second half but eventually fell off hard to the tune of a 5-1 harsh initiation into the league.
Growing pains will be inevitable for both clubs as they do their best to adapt to MLS. Adrian Heath and Tata have their hands full in trying to manage the depth of their squads in a long season and finding the right combinations that work in specific situations. It’ll be interesting to see how each manager prepare their lineups and mentality for the expected freezing conditions. Will Atlanta continue to try and press high and use their pace or will they adjust? Will Minnesota elect to give Miguel Ibarra and/or Christian Ramirez a start? It should be a fun match for us watching from the outside, maybe not as much for the guys having to run around in ridiculously low temperatures.
Pre-match Reading: Predicted Lineup, What to watch for, 3 Questions w/E Pluribus Loonum
Atlanta United Lineup:
Starting XI vs @MNUFC #UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/VZiPXFy7CP— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) March 12, 2017
Minnesota United Lineup:
Here's how the fellas will line up today vs. @ATLUTD. #MINvATL | #MNUFC pic.twitter.com/nSCXzcEmsE— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) March 12, 2017
How to Watch
Kickoff Time: 5:00 p.m. ET
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Available TV: ESPN2
Available Streams: WatchESPN, Sling TV, PS Vue
Available Radio: 92.9 The Game
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