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OPINION: Winning the Supporters Shield is bigger than the MLS Cup for MNUFC

There is a reason why

July 24, 2021 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United supporters wave their scarves during a Loons’ corner kick in the match against the Portland Timbers at Allianz Field. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

A few days ago the Pioneer Press’ Andy Greder sent out an interesting tweet and well I’ll let you read it.

My personal response to that was in short the Supporters Shield, and for good reason. But Twitter doesn’t have enough characters allowed to give a full response. Part of it is the need for consistency, which I’ll have a piece on tomorrow.

The reason for this is because, well in short, it isn’t easy to stay consistent over a full 34 match season, while it is much easier to win a knockout tournament. Minnesota United has proved this before with their 2019 run to the US Open Cup Final. That wasn’t the best team MNUFC had seen, but being drawn against the right teams in the right spot helps immensely. Playoffs and by extension knockout tournaments are inherently random, which is what makes them so much fun to watch. If a 16 seed can beat a 1 seed in the NCAA Basketball Tournament then well, really anything can happen.

And for MLS this is much more after dropping the playoffs from the traditional two game aggregate down to a single elimination format. We have seen, and even seen this season, the Loons go on four match unbeaten streaks and defeating some of the best in the league. This does show that given the moment, Minnesota United can win the MLS Cup. Will it be easy? No. But they could.

On the other hand the Supporters Shield requires consistency only matched by winning a league championship in Europe. It is not easy to stay consistent and good to great for an entire 34 match season. Something that Minnesota has lacked so far in 2021. And that consistency is something we would all like to see from the Loons. That consistency is something that is shown in spurts by the team, but not all season. And if shown for 34 matches could lead to a Supporters Shield.

The only question now, is how do the Loons get there?