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Minnesota United Falls to Sporting Kansas City in US Open Cup

The first US Open Cup match as an MLS club did not go well

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Minnesota United FC at Sporting KC Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

I give the team credit. Adrian Heath knew that he wanted his team to focus on the regular season. At least that can be the only reason as to why Minnesota United lined up like this:

Patrick McLain, Kevin Venegas, Justin Davis, and Collin Martin. These are not exactly the every day starters for MNUFC. But, honestly, they did not look awful...

Right away in the first half, the Loons pushed high and forced SKC GK, Tim Melia, into an unforced error. The Loons were clearly trying to push for a ball to Abu Danladi over the top, but it just wasn’t falling.

The issues appeared to be in the midfield trio of Rasmus Schuller, Collen Warner, and Martin. The three did not seem to know how to play with one another and the passes were being lost before they could cross into the offensive third. Ismaila Jome and Venegas were pushing into the offense as much as they could, but the final ball was not there.

After a mostly uneventful opening 35 minutes, SKC took control. They won a free kick right outside of the 18 as Schuller was a little too agressive in defense. The resulting play bounced around before eventually going out for a corner. The corner was taken by Graham Zusi who curled it in and Ike Opara skied up over everyone and the Loons were down 1-0.

It would not get much better as again SKC took control of the play and the Loons defense gave Daniel Salloi a little too much room. His shot beat McLain and luckily hit off the post. Unlucky for McLain the rebound fell to the feet of Gerso Fernandes who, with a wonderful first touch, slotted it home.

The teams would enter the locker room with the home side a comfortable 2-nil up.

Adrian Heath did opt to make a change at the half, taking out Rasmus Schuller in favor of Ibson. This match was a major missed opportunity for the Finnish midfielder. Sporting Kansas City began the second half strong and continued to have long attacking possessions in Minnesota's half of the field. Collin Martin hit the post with a long range effort, but it wasn't to be.

Center-back Joseph Greenspan took an elbow from Espinoza to his head/neck and went crumpled. The referee took his time stopping play for Greenspan. Joe ended up being stretchered off the field and was loaded directly into an ambulance.

Play resumed about ten minutes later, with Marc Burch replacing the injured Greenspan. Dom Dwyer scored a third for the hosts in the 72nd minute, running straight through Minnesota's back line. The easy finish gifted to Dwyer brought back echoes of the infamous first four matches of the season.

Jerome Thiesson replaced Ish Jome in the 75th minute as a defensive reinforcement, but Sporting's Daniel Salloi snagged his first goal while making it 4-0 in the 83rd. Rookie Abu Danladi thought he pulled one back for the Loons, but the assistant referee signaled for hand ball, disallowing the consolation effort.

Minnesota United's "B-squad" lineup failed to look threatening in this match, eliminating the Loons from the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, joining Minneapolis City SC of the NPSL North as Minnesotan teams watching the proceedings from afar.