1. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon of soccer. A very good performance in a must win game on a glorious late Fall day. And yet, to stay on point for the season, nothing was decided. On Monday night Seattle and LA Galaxy tied 1-1, while tonight LAFC faces Vancouver, and tomorrow night Portland travels to Salt Lake. It really is starting to look like Sunday’s LAvMIN game will be for 7th place and the last playoff spot. For now, the standings that matter are:
Which means the season is still wide open; Minnesota United could end up with a fourth place finish or they could end up out of the playoffs altogether. But to make matters simple they control their own destiny. Regardless of what happens the rest of the week, all they need to do is win on Decision Day and they are in.
2. Sunday was the last home game of the regular season. After another less than full Allianz Field with a crowd that was quite subdued, it will be hard to know what to make of the season even if the Loons make the playoffs. At the same time, The Athletic has produced a wonderful commercial for MNWoSo and MPLS City SC.
3. After what felt like a season defining game on Sunday, maybe even a statement game, Thin Skinned Inchy made another surprising appearance. “I don’t know what it is,” he began his post-match press conference. “Everything is great when we win and everything is so much doom and gloom when we lose,” a rather good description of fandom. “We are somewhere always in between,” he continued, “because that’s the nature of the game. Maybe I had a bit more faith in the group of people that we had; the players, people who work here, than the people who watch us at times.” To be fair, of course, it isn’t the players that fans and supporters lost faith in. And to also be fair, after this opening, things got a bit more professional, while on the other side of the house SKC head coach Peter Vermes was appropriately disappointed with his team’s performance. “The difference in the game,” he argued, “was in the end they were fighting for their lives. They wanted to win. I think they wanted it more than we did.” On the one hand, there was Ozzie Alonso who, continuing his late season form, had another great game, and will be sorely missed next weekend, while for Kansas City Cameron Duke and Johnny Russell, among others, seemed to run out of desire and energy. Big players stepped up, and others didn’t, as everyone was saying earlier in the week. For the first twenty minutes it seemed like Duke and Russell were going to be able to do whatever they wanted against an overmatched Chase Gasper. But then Ozzie worked his way into the game just as Duke and Russell faded. Which, on the other hand, allowed Minnesota to play with a freedom they rarely take, resulting in a wild symmetry pointed out by Matt Doyle.
And then there was Emanuel Reynoso.
DO YOU SMELLLLLLLLLLLLL WHAT EL REY IS COOKING? pic.twitter.com/wdJ0QEoxg5— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) October 31, 2021