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Loon Nuggets: News and Notes from Minnesota’s loss to San Jose

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Hear from Adrian Heath, Francisco Calvo, and Jerome Thiesson on officiating, the media, and more in an intriguing series of notes.

May 12, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - San Jose midfielder, Florian Jungwirth (23) escapes a foul as he pulls down Minnesota United forward, Darwin Quintero (25) during the Minnesota United vs San Jose Earthquakes match at TCF Bank Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
May 12, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - San Jose midfielder, Florian Jungwirth (23) escapes a foul as he pulls down Minnesota United forward, Darwin Quintero (25) during the Minnesota United vs San Jose Earthquakes match at TCF Bank Stadium. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Minnesota United’s 3-1 home defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes was far from a triumphant homecoming after a midweek loss in Los Angeles.

Two conceded penalties, plus a goal from open play, proved to be more than the Loons could handle. Very few parts of the match could be considered pretty (except for Christian Ramirez’s golazo), none of which would be the performance of referee Victor Rivas.

“He was terrible,” said captain Francisco Calvo, whose obvious handball in the box gave San Jose their second kick from the spot. “I think he was calling more fouls for them, not for us...it’s about respect. All the referees come here, they do whatever they want.”

His manager was none the happier with Rivas. “I’ll be speaking to [general manager of the Professional Referee Organization] Howard Webb,” he said. “When the referee has blown the whistle and both sets of players don’t know which way it’s going, you’ve got a problem.”

Fullback Jerome Thiesson, whose dangling leg brought down the Earthquakes’ Magnus Eriksson for a penalty in the first minute, accepted the call made in the early part of the game. “It was the right call,” he admitted. “I apologize to all my teammates.”

But Thiesson wasn’t as satisfied with the foul called on Calvo. “I don’t know how we can call a penalty with a shot from [there].”

May 12, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United defender, Jerome Thiesson (3) is called for a foul in the box on San Jose midfielder, Magnus Eriksson (7) during the Minnesota United vs San Jose Earthquakes match at TCF Bank Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
May 12, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United defender, Jerome Thiesson (3) is called for a foul in the box on San Jose midfielder, Magnus Eriksson (7) during the Minnesota United vs San Jose Earthquakes match at TCF Bank Stadium. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

It wasn’t just the officiating that left a bitter taste in Francisco Calvo’s mouth. A series of his errors in the past few games have led to goals and there has been a noticeable part of the fanbase that would like to see him dropped from the starting lineup. The Costa Rican is fed up with the negative attention.

He called the loss “a big chance for the media to talk bad things about the team,” and said that the key is “to be together as a team.” He mentioned one outlet specifically to the club’s PR Director before speaking to the media, and the Star Tribune’s Megan Ryan reported that he asked for that outlet to be removed. No media members were taken from the scrum.

Calvo, who was visibly distressed during his postmatch interview, is sick of the pointing fingers. “When you point [at] one guy, it’s hard,” he said. “If you want to point [at] me, I’ve been playing as a pro for eight years, so I know what this pressure is...you can say whatever. you want. If you want to talk, talk about the team, not about me or any of my teammates.”

Heath wouldn’t discuss Calvo’s performances or sentiments. “I don’t want to talk about individuals at this moment in time,” he said.

March 31, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United Defender, Francisco Calvo displays his disagreement during the Minnesota United vs Atlanta United match at TCF Bank Stadium.

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
March 31, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United Defender, Francisco Calvo displays his disagreement during the Minnesota United vs Atlanta United match at TCF Bank Stadium. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Half-Volleys:

Thiesson started at left back for the second game in a row. Heath said he is more comfortable on that side, and Thiesson said that he likes the left side “very much.”

Backup goalkeeper Matt Lampson was left out of the matchday squad in exchange for Alex Kapp. Heath said Lampson tweaked an old injury on Saturday morning before the game.

Heath also said that there were many questions about the team to be answered in the coming days, two of which could be personnel and shape.

The announced attendance of 19,721 fell short of TCF Bank Stadium’s soccer capacity again, marking the fourth straight non-sellout.