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Loon Nuggets: Luck and Disappointment

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Hear from Adrian Heath, Bobby Shuttleworth, and Darwin Quintero on the Loons’ draw with Sporting Kansas City.

May 20, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United supporters display the Loon's starting lineup before the Minnesota United vs Sporting KC match at TCF Bank Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
May 20, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United supporters display the Loon's starting lineup before the Minnesota United vs Sporting KC match at TCF Bank Stadium. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Minnesota United’s 1-1 draw with midwestern rivals Sporting Kansas City was simultaneously lucky and disappointing. Despite earning a point against the top team in the Western Conference, the Loons felt like they could’ve snagged all three.

“It’s a tough one,” said goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, whose man-of-the-match performance secured the draw with plenty of crucial saves.

“I thought we had some really good moments on the counter attack,” said manager Adrian Heath of his team’s performance. “Last year we would have lost this game.”

Heath was less happy to see the Loons allow Sporting to have continued possession in the second half, but appreciated the effort. “There was a real determination to keep them out at the end.”

That said, the end of the game was far from calming for the gaffer. “I would have settled for a point with twenty minutes to go.”

Darwin Goal
Darwin Quintero sneaks one by Tim Melia during Minnesota United's 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City
Tim C McLaughlin

Darwin Quintero scored his third goal of the season in the twentieth minute when he cleaned up his own rebound, a gift from goalkeeper Tim Melia. “[It was] a play that started with Miguel [Ibarra]. I arrived on a good cross from him and hit it. He saved it but thanks to God the rebound ended up at my feet and I could push it in,” he explained

Heath gave his team something of a new look in the final minutes of the game. After Rasmus Schuller departed with a head injury, centerback Francisco Calvo moved up to replace him in defensive midfield while Brent Kallman was brought into the back line. “I just wanted a bit of solidity in there,” said Heath.

May 20, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United forward, Abu Danladi (9) makes a late attempt on goal against Sporting KC goalkeeper, Tim Melia (29) during the Minnesota United vs Sporting KC match at TCF Bank Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
May 20, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United forward, Abu Danladi (9) makes a late attempt on goal against Sporting KC goalkeeper, Tim Melia (29) during the Minnesota United vs Sporting KC match at TCF Bank Stadium. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Half-Volleys

Fullback Jerome Thiesson picked up a knock late in the match. He had a noticeable limp after the game.

Fans do not need to be concerned about Shuttleworth after he went down with a hand injury in the second half. He had hit a post with it and merely needed a moment to recover.

Minnesota was outshot 24 to 6 and did not have a corner kick.

In a slightly bizarre move, MNUFC’s official Twitter account directed criticism from MLS analyst Matt Doyle to Francisco Calvo (see below). That probably wasn’t necessary, as Calvo was scrolling through his Twitter feed after the game.

A portion of TCF Bank Stadium’s upper deck was open for the club’s first sellout since the home opener on March 17th.

The draw was Minnesota’s first of the season, however the New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact, next week’s opponent, are still drawless.

United now sits in sixth place in the Western Conference, level on thirteen points with Real Salt Lake, who have a game in hand.