Minnesota United will put a five-game unbeaten streak on the line as they continue their quest for a potential home playoff berth when the Colorado Rapids visit in Saint Paul, Minn., on Wednesday night.
The Loons (7-5-6, 27 points) are one point behind fourth-place Los Angeles FC (8-7-4, 28 points) in the battle for the final home playoff spot in the Western Conference with Decision Day looming on Nov. 8.
Colorado (5-5-4, 19 points), despite having seven consecutive matches postponed when an undisclosed number of staff and players tested positive with COVID-19, is just five points behind eighth-place San Jose (6-8-6, 24 points) for the final Western playoff spot.
Minnesota is 2-0-3 over its past five matches and comes in off a 1-0 victory at FC Cincinnati on Saturday. Forward Aaron Schoenfeld scored the game-winner in second-half stoppage time, his first career goal with the Loons, burying in a rebound of a Michael Boxall header that had bounced off the right post to the edge of the 6-yard box.
"We all know the position we're in, a tight race to get into the playoffs, and we knew we had to start getting three points in a couple games," Schoenfeld said. "So, I'm happy to help the team get some momentum going forward."
Minnesota coach Adrian Heath added, "The win at the weekend put us in a really good spot. But it won't count for an awful lot if we don't back that up with another three points on Wednesday."
Loons goaltender Dayne St. Clair has registered four shutouts during the unbeaten streak.
The Rapids showed their rust in playing their first game in over a month on Saturday, allowing four second-half goals in a 4-0 loss at Western Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City.
"It's always disappointing to lose, but the reality (is) we weren't as sharp tonight as we would have liked to have been," Rapids coach Robin Fraser said. "Given the time off I can't say it's unexpected. The resiliency was good. The fight was great. You could see it was a real struggle for us, but this is just another step toward getting back to where we need to be."
The teams are set to meet for the second time this season. The first matchup ended in a 2-2 draw in the MLS is Back Tournament near Orlando, Fla., on July 22.
--Field Level Media