After a frigid game at TCF bank stadium last week, the Loons look forward to a week off before getting back on the pitch April 14th at Providence Park versus the Timbers. So, here begs the question: is the bye week good or bad for MNUFC?
For me, as a fan, it’s both good and bad. I’d love to see the Loons play every week. Knowing that I have that to look forward to on the weekend usually makes my work week go by faster. I also understand that these are professional athletes and they punish their bodies on a weekly basis. The down time can provide some much-needed rest to heal some injuries or just recover from the physical exertion from the last 90 minutes of soccer.
From a team perspective, I can see two sides of it as well. Coming off a tough loss to Atlanta United in 20 something degree temperatures, I’m sure that game had some negative effects on the team both mentally and physically. Does the player want to get back to the pitch as soon as they can, erase that loss or get some positive vibes and momentum going?
An added advantage of the bye week is the players get to be at home. Being at home, the players can train at their home facility, be with their families, enjoying home cooked meals and sleeping in their own bed. In addition, having the support of their families can’t do anything but help with the mental recovery. Another added advantage is there is no travel, so players are able to avoid the negative effects of traveling back and forth across time zones every few days.
With Sam Cronin listed as out and Jerome Thiesson as questionable, the week off can also allow MNUFC to get these players healed and ready for the next 6 months of competition. The Loons will have some additional time off in June during World Cup competition, but I believe every little bit helps.
The time off can also be a time to break the string of losses and allow head coach, Adrian Heath, to make some changes (we know how that goes), and work on some different game plans. Implementing different game plans could benefit the team, allowing them to come out fresh against a sluggish Portland squad that sits in 11th place in the table with 2 points.
On the flip side of that is, following back to back losses to NYRB and ATLUTD, would it be better for the team to get right back to the pitch and get those losses behind them? Obviously, the team will be training and in soccer mode, but I’m sure it’s not the same intensity that is experienced in game competition. The team throwing on the kit and cleats, doing some warm ups, running the pitch, banging bodies and getting three points for our side could also do a lot to clear the mind of the losses.
There will always be differences of opinion on the pros and cons of having a bye week. We will never know whether the effects have been good or bad until the Loons step onto the TCF Bank Stadium pitch for the next 90 minutes.