Minnesota United plays in its first ever Major League Soccer playoff game Sunday evening, and confidence is high that they won't have to wait long for their second.
As debut playoff games go, it doesn't come more glitzy than hosting the L.A. Galaxy, who bring with them the virtuoso genius of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
But what they have in striking talent they lack in defense, having shipped 19 goals in their final 7 matches of the season and 59 in total, more than any other team that made the playoffs.
They finished 5th in the Western Conference, one spot behind the Loons, who are feeling pretty good about progressing to the next round, buoyed on by what will be a raucous Allianz Field crowd.
"The Galaxy are a team that provides world-class players in the attacking end, I mean, what team wouldn’t want a player like [Ibrahimovic] up top?" the Loons' Ethan Findlay told MLS.com.
"But besides those attacking players, they’re just like any other MLS team. There’s a huge opportunity for us if we can take advantage of it. Whether that be early on, the counter or set pieces. There’s an opportunity that we need to take.”
"I feel really good with where we’re at, the preparation has been good, the energy, the excitement and just the mood of every player here. We all know what the Galaxy can bring, but we also know what they lack. I think there’s some room for us to prepare in that sense."
Preparations in the practical sense have been somewhat unusual at Allianz Field, with a new grass field sodded ahead of the Galaxy's visit.
What's more, this turf has been given somewhat of a beating by the Tommies and Jonnies football teams, who faced each other at Allianz Field on Saturday.
In their two meetings during the 2019 season, United and Galaxy played out a 0-0 draw at Allianz Field, while the Galaxy won 3-2 in California.
But you can't underestimate the home advantage for United, who have lost just once at Allianz Field all season.
You'll be able to watch United live on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. Central.