Minnesota in the playoffs for the long haul

23 November 2020 01:43:00 GMTPlus11

Minnesota United boss Adrian Heath believes his team are well equipped to make a deep run in the playoffs as they gear up to host the Colorado Rapids on Sunday.

The Loons made the post-season for the first time in their franchise history in 2019 but bowed out in round one when losing 2-1 at home to Los Angeles Galaxy.

Rather than let the cloud from the disappointing loss linger into 2020, United have responded in the right way, making the semi-finals of the MLS is Back tournament before securing a fourth-place finish in the regular season.

The immediate goal now is to secure a first playoff win in Minnesota's short MLS history and they'll at least have home advantage on their side when they face the Rapids, who finished the regular season one place worse off than Sunday's opponents.

Heath says he felt his team let themselves down last year with their performance in the playoffs 12 months ago but feels they are better equipped this year to not only advance to the quarterfinals but potentially go all the way.

"I honestly believe that this group could go a long way," Heath told TwinCities.com.

"Sometimes I don't think we believe it ourselves, I think that we wait for things to happen instead of being initiating it, taking the game by the scruff of the neck. But this group is capable of beating anybody in the MLS."

Minnesota, who head into the game on an eight-game unbeaten run, are hopeful of having Jan Gregus, Robin Lod, Kei Kamara and Romain Metanire all available to start after flying them back from international duty.

There's also the chance captain Ozzie Alonso, Jacori Hayes, Aaron Schoenfeld and Michael Boxall will be passed fit after all four took part in training on Friday, albeit Heath admits some of that quartet are lacking match fitness.

Meanwhile, Colorado should welcome back Diego Rubio.

Minnesota are 2.25 to win the game inside the regulation 90 minutes, while the Rapids are 2.80 and the draw is 3.80.

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