This loss officially makes 2021 the worst start in the history of #MNUFC. This dates back to the club's founding as NSC Minnesota Stars in 2010 when they participated in the USSF D2 Pro League.#MNUFC | #MINvATX | #AustinFC— E Pluribus Loonum (@EPluribusLoonum) May 2, 2021
ONE WEEK LATER and it got worse
A second half implosion, and yes implosion is the word in every situation, has Minnesota United fans on the ledge of calling it quits for the season. Two weeks ago I told you not to hit that PANIC button. It will be turning into the indifferent button pretty soon, if it hasn’t happened for many. That’s a scary thought for one of the more talented teams on paper in the league, but as we all know “games aren’t won on paper”.
The part that makes this so frustrating for Loons fans, is that they made adjustments based on the shortcomings from the first three games. It was working during the first half, but then a variety of factors caused one of the most holistic implosions you will see this season.
The Changes We Made
You could see something was different just from the team sheet before kick-off. Minnesota deployed a narrow “1-4-4-2” type of shape in defensive situations, that was focused on constricting the space in between their lines and daring teams to go wide to beat the defensive shape. When it shifted to in possession some fluid shapes were allowed to progress due to the abundance of central based players with Reynoso in a free role, and the outside backs invited forward when in possession.
The point is we made adjustments and the implosion still happened, that requires a deeper into look of everything that the club is doing to try and stimulate a change.
Seeing what this team looks like with some of it’s new signings could literally save this season, that is not the environment anybody was hoping for a new signing to step into. It’s toxic and far from ideal, but it is a reality of competitive sport. Sometimes the environment you are in is far from ideal, but you have to perform (like in a heavy rainstorm in Colorado).
If I’m Adrian Heath, I’m putting my hopes on those new signings because now the sample size is getting larger that you will need those players to turn it around. New signings don’t change everything, but what they can do is freshen up the locker room atmosphere and culture within the squad. These changes very often lift other players into new heights which is why nailing these players is so crucial in a league like MLS.
I don’t want to be the conductor of this train, but if even the new signings don’t make things turn around Adrian might be getting a phone call that he’s not looking forward to. Ownership has started to make significant investments and will want results this year. When those results aren’t happening questions start getting asked, and coaches know this. Watch this space over the coming week, because if after the two games this week there is a mini-break in actions. That could be the point where there is a last chance to put things right.
When changes need to be made they happen quickly in this sport, otherwise this becomes your season and not just a run of form.