In conditions clear and rainy, Minnesota United FC and the LA Galaxy played in midweek MLS regular season action on Wednesday, but neither team managed to score as the game finished 0-0 at Allianz Field.
Both teams featured strong lineups containing most or all of their healthy regular starters, although Minnesota were forced to make two changes due to red cards in the last match for Jan Gregus and Francisco Calvo. Minnesota's Ike Opara returned in defense after a game out due to injury, Kevin Molino made his first start in over a year, while both attacking stars Darwin Quintero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic started for their respective sides.
The two best chances in the first half came for the hosts in similar fashion. Opara's header off a corner kick was repelled by Sebastian Lletget's shoulder just in front of the goal line in the 30th minute. Two minutes later, Julian Araujo made another timely clearance in the box on an Opara header.
In the second half, both teams had chances, but key defensive actions and miscues in finishing meant neither side found the breakthrough to take three points on the night. The rain came in earnest around the hour mark, but the slick conditions did not interrupt the defensive duel.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Picking up points midweek is always useful, and as the road team, the Galaxy will be happy to get that as well as a clean sheet. Minnesota haven't won at Allianz Field yet in two tries, which may be a slight concern, but it's early and they will also take heart from a stout defensive performance when that has not traditionally been their strong suit.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: There were quite a few nearly goals on the night, but the stops on Opara's attempts in the first half were pivotal.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jonathan dos Santos had yet another terrific performance in the LA midfield, as he worked tirelessly in defense, making two crucial stops in the second half, and provided decent set-piece service all night.