I don’t think too many soccer fans are surprised to see Minnesota United in the semi-finals of the MLS Is Back Tournament. After finishing just three points shy of a top-two spot in the Western Conference last year, the Loons were tipped to hit the ground running in 2020. However, it’s safe to say that very few people expected Orlando City to make it out of their group, let alone reach the last four.
It’s difficult to foresee the outcome of this matchup, but I try my best in this post. After assessing the odds, I share my Orlando City vs. Minnesota United prediction and betting pick.
Orlando City vs. Minnesota United Odds
Orlando City to Win2.40
Minnesota United to Win2.63
Before the tournament kicked off, nobody could have predicted that Orlando would be the bookies’ favorite to win a semi-final. But following an outstanding campaign up to now, the Lions are just one game away from reaching the final. Still, you’d be foolish to write off Minnesota. This tie could go either way, and the tight odds reflect that.
I evaluate both teams’ chances below.
Orlando City vs. Minnesota United Preview
Orlando is clearly enjoying playing on home soil. The Lions have taken the competition by storm, and their quarter-final victory over tournament-favorite LAFC proves they’ve got what it takes to go all the way.
The surprise package stunned everyone by beating Inter Miami and New York City in the opening two rounds, while a draw with Philadelphia Union saw Orlando top Group A. Tesho Akindele’s second goal of the tournament was enough to see his side overcome Montreal Impact in the Round of 16, although Joao Moutinho stole the show last time out.
Orlando appeared to be on their way out of the tournament, but the ex-LAFC defender scored a last-gasp header to thwart his old team. Former Manchester United star Nani then scored the winning penalty to send the dark horse into the last four.
Meanwhile, Minnesota booked their place in the semi-finals with a thumping 4-1 victory over San Jose. Despite only seeing 38% possession, the Loons netted two goals in each half to thrash the Earthquakes. In-form Finnish midfielder Robin Lod opened the scoring, taking his tournament tally to two goals and two assists.
United wasn’t entirely convincing in the early stages of the competition, winning one and drawing two of their group games. But having seen off Columbus Crew and San Jose in the knockout stages, it feels like Adrian Heath’s side has grown into the tournament.
Orlando City vs. Minnesota United Prediction and Pick
Minnesota United to Win
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to make a case for Orlando reaching the final. But I’m pretty certain the Lions’ fairytale run will come to an end on Thursday. The manner with which Minnesota dispatched San Jose in the quarter-finals was hugely impressive, so I think the Loons will be too strong for Orlando.