Minnesota United fell 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids in Minneapolis on Saturday in front of less than 20,000 fans. A drab and depressing game saw four video reviews and a game-closing brawl.
Injuries and international duty forced manager Adrian Heath’s hand. Normal starters Francisco Calvo and Rasmus Schüller were with Costa Rica and Finland, respectively, while goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was out with a back injury. Matt Lampson replaced Shuttleworth and Marc Burch replaced Calvo at left back. The all-Brazilian midfield (Maximiano and Fernando Bob) sat behind Alexi Gomez, Darwin Quintero and Miguel Ibarra with Angelo Rodriguez up top.
Rodriguez had the first chance of the game, running through the Rapids’ back line to get a clear shot on goal, but the Colombian forward sent it wide to the right.
The Rapids had a series of opportunities of their own, as a brief sequence of shots, saves and rebounds dangerously close to United’s goal line ended in the Rapids blasting a shot wide.
Colorado’s Marlon Hairston received a yellow card in the 22nd minute after a VAR review for a possible red card.
Ibarra gave fans a brief injury scare a few minutes before halftime, staying on the ground while grimacing in pain, but limped off the field only to rejoin the game seconds later.
It seemed that Quintero broke the deadlock with an early goal in the second half, but a second lengthy VAR review found that Rodriguez was offside in the build-up to the goal, and it was called back.
Colorado found a goal just after the hour mark as Yannick Boli sent a fantastic header into the top right corner.
Cameroonian winger Frantz Pangop replaced Ibarra, and Alexi Gomez later departed to make room for Ibson.
It was Ibson who found an equalizer for the Loons, but a THIRD video review of the game showed Rodriguez was again offside.
Heath refrained from using his final substitution until stoppage time, when he brought in rookie forward Mason Toye.
The Rapids added to their lead with only moments to go, and the celebration in front of Minnesota’s technical area led to a bench-clearing brawl, as Heath and Rapids players had to be held back. A fourth review ensued.
The Rapids’ Tommy Smith and United’s Harrison Heath (a substitute) were sent off in the 90+14th minute.
The Loons’ last home game at TCF Bank Stadium, with 50,000 tickets sold and distributed, is next Sunday against the LA Galaxy.