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Notebook: A win makes a happy team

After struggling since coming back from Orlando, MNUFC has pitched two straight clean sheets and now adds a win to that tally.

October 3, 2020 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod (17) dribbles the ball during the match against FC Cincinnati at Allianz Field.
October 3, 2020 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod (17) dribbles the ball during the match against FC Cincinnati at Allianz Field.
(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Last night Minnesota United defeated FC Cincinnati 2-0 at Allianz Field to get back on track in the winning column. After a tough stretch of matches the Loons have a W and Adrian Heath was happy with the form the team showed last night.

“I thought the mentality of the group was very good. You know, I think the defensive block was good. And, that was the pleasing part. The people put themselves in good spots to defend the goal, which is something that we spoke about in the past. When we needed it, the keeper came up big for us with a couple of big saves.”

With the same formation the Loons pulled off a second clean sheet in a row. Adrian Heath was happy with the result on the better performance.

“Well, that’s football for you. With a clean sheet, we always have a chance. Because I always think we have enough talent on the field to score a goal. I’m thinking back now, Robin [Lod] could have had two or three really good opportunities in the first half. And, then the second half, I thought we were a little sloppy at times. Our final ball wasn’t good enough. But, in the end, a quality finish from Kev [Molino]. But, when we needed him, and, watching the highlights now, Dayne [St. Clair] has come up with a couple of crucial saves, when we’ve needed him. I’ve said it a million times: goals change games. And, you know, Dayne has come up with two great saves when we’ve needed him to.”

Chase Gasper was notably happy with the teams consistent defensive performance. FC Cincinnati’s shots on target were only 3 in comparison to a total of 16 shots, and holding that kind of performance two matches in a row is incredible and will make anyway happy.

“It goes back to that defensive pressure I was just – or attacking pressure – I was referencing earlier. Anytime we get the ball up the field our back line, if you noticed it during the game or if you go back and re-watch it, our back line is so quick to step up because that drives their forwards and attacking players crazy because then they have to readjust or else they’ll be offsides. When a forward is constantly moving to get back on-sides he’s not focused on the runs he should be making. So, just little things like that, like stepping anytime the ball goes backwards for them or forward for us, just stepping three-five yards, whatever it may be, those little things can throw off the rhythm and chemistry of their attack. That’s what we focused on a lot this week and I thought we executed it very well.”

Forward Kei Kamara also was in the same mentality as Chase on how the team played.

“It’s definitely a funny game. Sometimes you play worse and you sneak out with points. It’s good, give credit to the rest of us in the locker room. We worked so hard in that last game, and for myself being the first game here in this stadium, we wanted to get three points from it. But it didn’t happen and we didn’t put our chances away. But we had a full week, which it has been a while for our team to get a full week of training and recovery. We knew coming in to this one, there’s nothing more we want than to get three points and put us in a better position, because the turnaround is quick. We are back at it again in just a couple days and so we had to make sure that tonight was different than the last home game.”

On top of that Kamara was also very happy about his first goal as a Loon, but did noted that it was a lot to do with Chase.

“It’s great. A lot of credit to Chase [Gasper] for that because he took a really big hit to the ankle and I’m sure that wasn’t easy. I just needed to make sure that it counted, and I am happy to say that I had my fist goal for this team. A great win overall, a great win for everyone. It was a great team effort the way we played today. In our last game at home we definitely were disappointed to not get all three points.”