Loons open season with 1-0 road win against FC Dallas

Minnesota United earned all three points on Saturday night during the club’s 2023 Season Opener by defeating FC Dallas on the road 1-0, with forward Mender Garcia’s 48th-minute game-winning goal as the difference.

The first 45 minutes of the Season Opener ended with MNUFC and FC Dallas both scoreless. Dallas controlled much of the ball, holding 58 percent of possession while winning seven corner kicks compared to the Loons’ zero. Of Dallas’ six first-half shots, Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair was forced just once to make a save, pushing Sebastian Lletget’s 42nd-minute shot over the crossbar. Minnesota’s best chance during the first 45 minutes came in the 37th minute when midfielder Franco Fragapane won the Loons a free kick 30 yards from the goal. Fellow midfielder Kervin Arriaga took the attempt, firing a strong shot that hit the Dallas crossbar.

Though Dallas controlled the first 45-minutes, Minnesota United opened the scoring just three minutes into the new half. Franco Fragapane got the ball atop of Dallas’ box from a forward Mender Garcia pass and took the shot that was ultimately saved – but Garcia was in perfect position and scored off the rebound, giving the Loons the 1-0 lead in the 48th minute. The goal was notably Garcia’s second-ever MLS goal and is the first goal scored for Minnesota United in their 2023 regular-season campaign. Garcia was replaced by midfielder Hassani Dotson as a 63rd-minute substitution, marking Dotson’s first regular-season minutes played since April 16, 2022, following torn ACL surgery. Both defender Miguel Tapias and forward Tani Oluwaseyi made their Major League Soccer debut appearances in the match against FC Dallas on Saturday night.

Minnesota held firm throughout the remainder of the match, earning the road win on the back of Mender Garcia’s game-winning goal. With the win, MNUFC improves to a 3-3-1 (W-L-D) record in Season Opener contests. The Loons have also now won or earned a draw in four of the last five regular-season matches against FC Dallas dating back to the 2021 season. In addition to the victory, MNUFC goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair earned his first clean sheet of the regular-season and his 12th-career regular-season MLS shutout.