Virtually nobody saw these two teams reaching the MLS is Back semifinals, let alone clashing at this stage. Both Orlando City and Minnesota United were labeled as underdogs before the start of the tournament, with slim chances of even reaching the knockout stage. But that is the beauty of American soccer. Surprises are common, and even “small” teams can produce some notable results. The oddsmakers see this one as an even contest, with a slight advantage given to Orlando, mostly because they play at their territory.
Orlando City (+145) had some amazing matches in this tournament, with the latest again LAFC being the most thrilling one. The Lions were through only after the penalties, creating without a doubt the biggest surprise in this tournament.
Before that, Orlando eliminated Montreal Impact with 1-0, in a match that didn’t bring anything spicy, which would make him memorable. In general, all the games Lions play are like that. Their head coach Oscar Pareja prefers tough defense and slow rhythm, which is why there isn’t too much excitement.
Orlando defeated Inter Miami in the group stage, 2-1, then NYCFC 1-3, after a flying start of the event. In the last contest, Pareja’s guys settled with a draw against Union, 1-1.
Minnesota United (+170) is a team that was constantly forgotten by the media. We are saying that because most of the previews for their matches or the analysis were quick and short, and all of them suggested that their opponents won’t have any troubles in taking them down.
That is why Adrian Heath, United’s head coach, constantly slams the media during post-match press conferences, reminding them about a poor treatment his team receives.
It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Minnesota’s players draw an enormous amount of motivation from this and that they want to prove to everyone wrong for doubting in them.
They would beat SCK in the opener, 2-1, then have two draws, against Real Salt Lake, 0-0 and Colorado Rapids, 2-2. Columbus was eliminated in the round of 16 after the penalties, before rolling over the San Jose Earthquakes in the quarterfinals, 4-1.
Dom Dwyer won’t play for the Lions, due to a muscle injury.
Ike Opara skips this match for United, while Romain Metanire stands as doubtful.
Head to Head Matches
So far, only three games between these two sides took place, and Minnesota has a better score. United won twice, with the last contest ending without winners. That one took place in September last year, 1-1.
It is hard to predict who will win because small details can, and probably will, prevail in this matchup. One mistake or one inspirational move will create a difference on the scoreboard.
So, we will move away from predicting the full-time result and instead focus on efficiency. A moderate one, meaning 2 or 3 goals, is the most realistic option, and we will back that up. The profits here are high, with the moneyline set at +100. It practically means that you have the opportunity to double your money.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.