After two losses in a row Minnesota United is off to their worst start since their first season in Major League Soccer back in 2017. In 2018 the Loons started the season 1-1, in 2019 they started 2-0, while last year they started off 2-0 before the pandemic and we’re 3-0-2 heading into the MLS Is Back Knockout Round. But 2017 and 2021 have been 0-2 starts, and Real Salt Lake typically has been a win that MNUFC can usually count on.
We know we’re better than our results show, but we need to start proving that,” Michael Boxall said.
Unlike in Seattle the Loons did not give up a rapid amount of goals in less than 45 minutes but also unlike against the Sounders the team couldn’t hold RSL for the first half. Anderson Julio picked up both goals for the away side scoring his first in the 31st minute.
That goal came off a botched pass interception by Chase Gasper who couldn’t corral the ball properly. He then attempted a bad tackle to get the ball away which saw Rubio Rubin more or less accidentally move the ball into the box while falling giving Anderson a clean shot to punch a shot into the corner.
Julio’s second goal came 10 minutes later off another Gasper mistake. Chase couldn’t send the ball back hard and fast enough for Dayna to clear it which led to Rubin getting the loose ball and charging into the box. He then sent a ground level pass across the box to a wide open Julio, who slipped this one into the goal for his and RSL’s second of the day.
“You know, at this level, you can’t make mistakes of the magnitude we’re making and expect to win a game. We’ve conceded six goals,” Manager Adrian Heath said post match on Saturday night. “Maybe I could look at Dayne [St. Clair] and think, could he have done better? We’ve sort of not helped him out much on that.”
Robin Lod would however get the home side on the board late with an 86the minute goal and an assist from Justin McMaster.
Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac pic.twitter.com/zEhkDAmNkP— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 25, 2021
And Justin McMaster, the Loons lone assist maker on the season is getting praise from the gaffer with Heath saying;
“We like him. It’s a nice little set up for Robin [Lod] for the goal, because if he hits it too hard, Robin can’t hit it first time. He came in the pockets at the right time.”
Minnesota United will face expansion side Austin FC on Saturday night at Allianz Field with points being needed for the Loons right now. A win or draw would break or at least tie the worst start in club history while a loss would solidify that worst start. And that not only will require support in front of Dayne St. Clair but also some scoring. Something Michael Boxall emphasized on Saturday night.
“There were times in our final third, I think we need a bit more bite.”