In the perpetual year of 2020, Minnesota United found unanticipated success for the casual observer. The season started out full of optimism, and then the pandemic hit. We won’t relive that here, because we are still living it now, and the pandemic will still factor in the 2021 season much like it has impacted all of our lives. 2020 changed us forever, and we can and will still feel the impacts in 2021 and beyond.
Rather then looking backwards we need to look forward, the team is looking forward onto 2021 and so should it’s fanbase. While you can appreciate the relative successes of a season, the minute you start to reflect upon that moment too long you take a step back in performance. The expectation we pushed for as a collective, was success in the playoffs. Those expectations were met and now comes the most difficult concept in sports and life. Consistency comes from the ability to do things as a collective. I wish I came up with that one, but it came from someone who was very close to Bob Gansler. Competition builds a team in the preseason, having everyone push the collective is a crucial part of success. The Loons should be looking to others who have to perform at a high level year over year consistently, even if they are outside the sport of soccer.
So what is the outlook for the Loons in 2021 with all of this in mind?
In terms of making the playoffs it should be clear skies, but when you look deeper into success in the playoffs it becomes a bit more cloudy. It’s not that I doubt the roster build MNUFC has done in the offseason, in fact I actually like a lot of the moves they have been making (pending the signing of another 9). Ashle has done a great job previewing how MNUFC look in 2021 by position group. However playoffs are complicated and to try and predict them before a season kicks off is foolish.
The truth is not always beautiful and in this case the realization that in MLS anything can happen, and most likely will happen. While we should be optimistic about the quality of this roster, we should be hesitant because if the 2020 season taught us anything it is expect the unexpected in 2021.