After playing to a draw the previous week against the Colorado Rapids, things were starting too look up for the Loons. Then the New England Revolution came out fast and put down MNUFC. And while the Loons were missing 5 normal starters, that doesn’t give them an excuse. There was some good that came out of the match, however.
The loss was really handed to MNUFC in the first 45’ of play, and in that time period, possession was a huge problem. While overall MNUFC had a possession advantage (50.9% to 49.1%), that number is skewed by the last 35’ of play. The possession was not helped at all early on by the midfield, and this happens to be a constant issue MNUFC is having since the season started.
Goalkeeping continues to be an issue that the Loons struggle with. This past weekend Bobby Shuttleworth seemed to misread the direction of the shot allowing the goal.
While the Colorado match was very good, the Loons have regressed quite a bit this past weekend.
There was quite a bit of positive to come out of this match.
First, I want to point out Brent Kallman. He, in the last two matches, has been a stalwart and savior of what has been a terrible back line. Kallman has come out of nowhere to stop what would have been guaranteed goals.
On the other end of the pitch, the offense is again looking dangerous and like a potent threat. United has done a good job switching the field of play with crosses and getting good shot opportunities, and while work needs to be done to finish off the plays, the Loons have a good foundation.
This brings up the man behind the bench, Adrian Heath. As much flak as Heath has gotten, he finally showed his ability to adjust. In the second half moving to a 3-5-2 worked, and I would love to see this formation going forward.
Minnesota United fell 5-2 to New England Revolution in disappointing fashion. The Loons conceded two penalties in the match. It has to be noted that normal starters Rasmus Schuller, Johan Venegas, Francisco Calvo, Kevin Molino, and Justin Davis were absent for the match, but that excuse doesn’t make-up for allowing five goals. Here’s a breakdown of the positives and negatives from the match.
It’s easy to find negatives from the embarassing defeat. New England hadn’t picked up a single point from their prior two matches and their single goal came from a penalty kick. They were able to find the back of Bobby Shuttleworth’s net far too easily less than four minutes into the match. Minnesota has yet to go past the first seventeen minutes without conceding.
Vadim Demidov gave up a needless penalty just after the half-hour mark. It was an obvious call and an even more obvious mistake by the captain. Demidov has already been responsible for two penalties and has only played three matches. That sort of track record shouldn’t happen in first division soccer.
Can there really be positives from a 5-2 loss? In this case, yes. The Loons fell behind early, but Collen Warner equalized with a beautiful goal. Warner has proved to be a consistent midfield leader for Minnesota.
Ibson got his first MLS start on Saturday. The NASL holdover was a leader in MNUFC’s midfield and could be seen animatedly giving directions to teammates. This leadership is a more than welcome change from his occasional indifference last year.