Minnesota United held another training session Tuesday north of Orlando in preparation for its friendly against New York City F.C. on Wednesday in the Orlando City Classic.
Coach Adrian Heath said he expects striker Angelo Rodriguez, bothered here in preseason by a groin issue, will play 45 minutes Wednesday. He also said striker Abu Danladi will “have some football” this week next now that an ankle injury is improving.
Expect more time, too, for players such as Ethan Finlay. He got in his first game action since ACL surgery last year in the final 15 minutes Saturday against New England and in Sunday’s 40-minute first half of a scrimmage against Florida International University.
Heath said the competition for starting spot and the team’s top 17 slots significantly hire than his first two seasons as coach.
“Ethan Finlay already has been to me,” Heath said with a grin. “He hasn’t gone 90 minutes yet, but he wants to know why he’s not in the first team Wednesday night. That’s what we’re getting to now.”
The Loons will play on without newly acquired goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who on Sunday returned to England to resolve immigration and visa issues. Heath said he’s hopeful Mannone will return to Orlando Wednesday or Thursday and be back for practice by Friday in time for Saturday’s final preseason game against Orlando City.
Until then, United will proceed with last season's starting goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and top draft pick Dayne St. Clair.
Loons play June friendly with Madison USL affiliate
United also on Tuesday announced will be play a June 25 friendly against its USL affiliate club Forward Madison FC at historic Breese Stevens Field there. It'll be the first time an MLS team has played in Wisconsin since the Chicago Fire played in Milwaukee in 2005.
United opens its third MLS season March 2 at Vancouver.