With star midfielder Emanuel Reynoso back in the fold, Minnesota United will try for its third consecutive road win over CF Montreal on Saturday night.
The Loons (5-6-5, 20 points) are 3-0-0 all-time against Montreal, including 3-2 road victories in 2017 and 2019. Minnesota has never won three straight road matches against an opponent in its MLS history.
The timing probably couldn't be better for Adrian Heath's well-rested squad, which comes in off a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday in Saint Paul, Minn.
Reynoso -- one of the league's top playmakers and an MLS All-Star in 2022 who was suspended for the first 11 games of the season for failure to report for training camp -- made his season debut in the 65th minute against Toronto. It was his crossing pass to Kervin Arriaga that help set up the tying score in the 89th minute.
"Rey is one of our best players, and he showed that (Saturday night)," Heath said. "He gave everybody a lift. He gave the crowd a lift. His quality was great in the box."
Heath is still monitoring Reynoso's minutes as he builds up his fitness.
"He's still got a long way to go, but I think we saw glimpses of his quality," the coach said.
Montreal (6-9-1, 19 points), which has won seven of its last eight home games, could be at a scheduling disadvantage after playing at Vancouver on Wednesday night in the Canadian Championship final and losing an emotional 2-1 contest to the Whitecaps. Vancouver qualified for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions League with the win.
Montreal fell behind 2-0 in the first 65 minutes of the contest, cut it to 2-1 in the 83rd minute on a goal by Sunusi Ibrahim and was pressing until the final whistle. Goaltender Jonathan Sirois made several acrobatic saves to keep Montreal -- outshot 20-9 overall and 9-5 in shots on target -- in the game.
"We really gave it our all," Montreal coach Hernan Losada said. "It's a beautiful experience for so many young players on our roster. To be part of a game like that, well not many players have the opportunity to play in a final."
--Field Level Media