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Notebook: Heath “disappointed” in Loons’ reserves against Aston Villa

Minnesota United lost to Villa 3-0 in an international friendly.

July 17, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay (13) is sent flying as Aston Villa FC goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic (24) pounces on a loose ball during an international friendly match at Allianz Field.
July 17, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay (13) is sent flying as Aston Villa FC goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic (24) pounces on a loose ball during an international friendly match at Allianz Field.
(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

The Loons lost to Aston Villa 3-0 on Wednesday night, and head coach Adrian Heath was not impressed with his team. The gaffer rested familiar faces and opted to give some of the backup’s minutes.

However, Heath was not pleased. “Some of them haven’t played much football, but they’re better than a lot of them showed this evening,” he said.

Heath is right about some of them not having many minutes, Bobby Shuttleworth played for the first time this season. Shuttleworth’s year has been frustrating, largely caused by a knee injury.

However, he also expressed his concern about not being the number one in Minnesota, “ I don’t think I’m at the point in my career where I’m comfortable being number two.” Ultimately, Shuttleworth just wants to play, he expressed if he cannot work and become the number one here in Minnesota, he “ has got to take it somewhere else where I can play.”

Ally Ng’anzi made his debut for the Loons against Aston Villa and worked hard in the opportunity. Heath was pleased, “I thought he did well, I thought he showed some of the things one or two others didn’t.” Minnesota lacked urgency and movement, but Ng’anzi brought an energy that the others did not.

Heath also praised the starters who entered the game late, citing Kevin Molino and Jan Gregus as “political professionals.”

Competition in the squad this year has increased from last year, as the Loons gain depth, and has created a better team because of it. Heath pointed out the new addition of Robin Lod that will increase competition, as well as a new signing he is “hopeful” to announce Thursday.

The good news is that it was just friendly, and the result does not matter. But what matters is Saturday’s Western Conference matchup against Real Salt Lake, and that no Minnesota United players were injured during the friendly.