After a three-game streak at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, Minnesota United FC has officially ended the 2022 preseason, and now all eyes are on Philadelphia and the season opener this Saturday. MNUFC opened the pre-season showcase with a 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers before playing out a 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake and a 2-2 draw with Viking FK of the Eliteserien , the elite of Norwegian football.
In the opener against Portland, midfielder Yimmi Chara provided the lone goal for the defending Western Conference champions, taking a feed from Santiago Moreno atop the 18-yard box and a point shot wide from the post to beat Tyler Miller in the fifth minute of the game.
Minnesota’s defense tightened up after conceding the opening goal and was able to flex some of its defensive depth in both games against its Western Conference counterparts. The goaltending position was particularly strong as Miller and Dayne St. Clair made what would have been regular season save of the week nominees. Miller denied a dangerous shot into the penalty area from Jaroslaw Niezgoda, who headed a clever cross from Moreno in the 53rd minute of the game against Portland. St. Clair made a fantastic two-handed save off Tate Schmitt’s header to preserve the scoreless draw as he started in goal against RSL.