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Notebook: Heath “Pleased” With Friendly

Many positives can be taken away from the mid-season friendly against Pachuca.

September 7, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra (10) goes in for a slide tackle during the international friendly match against Pachuca at Allianz Field.
September 7, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra (10) goes in for a slide tackle during the international friendly match against Pachuca at Allianz Field.
(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Minnesota United faced Mexican side Pachuca on Saturday night at Allianz Field, in front of an announced crowd of 19,498. Despite being a friendly in the middle of a busy MLS season, Adrian Heath was pleased with the match as a whole. “ I thought it was a really good game for a friendly game, most Mexican teams take them seriously when they come.”

Heath pushed the importance of getting game-time — regardless of it is a friendly or not. “The important thing for them [the players] is to make sure that they treat the game seriously and make sure they get something out of it. And I think they did that.” Adrian seemed surprisingly happy, perhaps because the result did not matter much, he was “really pleased with the commitment from the guys.”

For attacker Thomas Chacon, Saturday night was his first start for the Loons. Thomas played well and created several chances, including a penalty kick. Chacon decided he would take the kick, but it was saved by the keeper. Chacon said that he hit the ball where he wanted to and that he “hit it really well. but he saved it.” Thomas Chacon, a few minutes later, helped create the tying goal for the Loons, “ It was great to be able to help out in some way to tie the game.” Minnesota United will hope their new Young DP can continue to settle in, with a busy and important schedule ahead, some fresh midfield flair could be vital.

Dayne St. Clair started for Minnesota and played well. His reaction saves are top-notch, and his distribution is getting better. “ I mean, obviously to concede two goals . . . The ones that I could’ve saved I dealt with well and I think playing out of the back I did well.” For St. Clair it is especially important to get minutes with the first team, as communication and chemistry is important for goalkeepers. “ I think as a second keeper that’s your mode always; stay ready. It could be a red card, it could be an injury. I think as long as you’re in the eighteen you are always prepared.”

With the word “friendly” being tossed around so much, Ethan Finlay thought it was maybe not as friendly as one would think. “Anytime you play against a Mexican club, you know, it can go a little chippy.”

Minnesota United will hope to gain some confidence, and maybe some attacking creativity. Abu Danladi’s goal will hopefully boost him into the player he once was thought to be, and Chacon’s minutes will hopefully boost his confidence and play-making opportunities for the rest of the MLS season.