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The Cold Doesn't Bother Minnesota United

The Loons trained at TCF Bank Stadium for the first time and we caught up with a few players and Coach Heath.

Eli Hoff

Defender Francisco Calvo summed up Minnesota United’s training session at TCF Bank Stadium in one word: “Freezing.” The Loons were able to train on the stadium’s artificial turf pitch before Sunday’s home match against Atlanta United. “The field’s in good shape,” praised manager Adrian Heath. Calvo agreed with his coach, “The setting is really nice.” The team spent about an hour playing an intra-squad scrimmage to get a feel for the turf and adjust to the sub-zero windchill.

Sunday’s weather forecast is currently predicting weather in the 20s with possible snow around kickoff, but Minnesota’s players aren’t concerned. “A lot of the guys are Scandinavian,” pointed out fullback Justin Davis, “so they know how to deal with it.” Among the players from northern Europe is captain Vadim Demidov. “I’ve played in much worse,” assured the center back, “-18 degrees Celsius [about 0 degrees Fahrenheit]...that’s the coldest game I’ve ever played in.” Adrian Heath isn’t worried about how his team will perform in the weather, hoping that they’ll “embrace’s Minnesotan weather and the same for both teams.”

Training took place with a temperature around 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eli Hoff

Swiss fullback Jerome Thiesson trained for the first time with Minnesota United. He participated fully in the team’s scrimmage and Adrian Heath was full of praise for the acquisition. “[He played] excellent. He’s very fit, he looked very sharp,” lauded the manager. Demidov echoed Heath, predicting that Thiesson will be “a great asset to the team.”

Thiesson has arrived!
Eli Hoff

Defense was a clear rough spot for the Loons in their 5-1 defeat in Portland last Friday, and the defenders are taking the responsibility to avoid the same mistakes. “We have to be careful,” pointed out Francisco Calvo. Justin Davis explained that the team will be “more prepared than we were...the result last week isn’t what it will be like.” Adrian Heath wants to keep things positive going into the match against Atlanta. “You don’t want negativity to set in...we’ll have to be better.” Neither team knows much about the other, so Heath believes it will be “a little bit of trial and error”. He has told his squad that if they can “play better in [Atlanta’s] half of the field [and] get more men in the box,” three points will come easily.

A rare photo of an orange ball, which may be necessary on Sunday.
Eli Hoff

Fans shouldn’t be worried that Sunday’s match will be cancelled because of cold weather. “If there was any [discussion of cancellation], I didn’t hear it,” assured Adrian Heath. Should snow arrive, fans may have the opportunity to see the mythical orange balls, which Minnesota United does have on hand.

To view more photos from Minnesota United’s training session at TCF Bank Stadium, check out the gallery below.