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Notebook: Got a little bit lucky

Sometimes luck is all you need.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at FC Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night’s Minnesota United match on the road against FC Cincinnati was overall not the greatest night for the Loons. Yes they did win but it was a game which for 90 minutes looked like it would end in a another draw, which has been a constant issue for MNUFC as of late. And while this match was a must win and a needed win for United, Heath was asked if he would have been ok taking home a draw.

“Yeah. Yeah, I was.” said Heath “Trust me. Winning at home, you have the pressure to try and win a game. Away from home, you get a point, you should be pleased with it. It’s never easy to win on the road.

Adrian Heath would come around saying “When you look at how many opportunities we created, you know, in the end, we probably just about deserved to win the game.”

This is not untrue as Minnesota had multiple shots go directly over the goal. Including this one by Ethan Finlay in the 34th minute that could have broken open the scoring.

And while Heath would have been happy with a point, the entire team would not have. Michael Boxall was very clear that they knew they needed three points and anything else would not have been what they wanted or needed.

“We typically wouldn’t have been happy with just a point.” Boxall said post match. “We knew this was a game where we could get the three points, so anything less than that would’ve been pretty disappointing for us.”

Not only would that have been disappointing for the club but also for the fans. With no fans in the stands social media has been more of a place to hear what people think. And no one knew how disappointing losing out on points was more than Boxy himself.

“Yeah we kind of let ourselves down in a few of our home games recently” said Boxall. “So, we got to put more effort into games like this. Yeah, I think once again, defended solidly as we have most of the year and kind of came to life towards the end there. Got a little bit lucky with that set piece at the end as well.”

Lucky is absolutely 100% correct on that. A last minute goal is always at least partially luck, but this one even more so. And even the gaffer himself said “No” when asked if he was able to follow the ball during that play. But now instead of the Loons having a 1-0-4 run they are 2-0-3 in their last five, which is the best but is respectable.

“You know, we’ve done alright of late.” Heath said Saturday night. “Even the point against Houston. People forget we scored two really good goals.”

That reminder is completely true, the Loons struggle with scoring and the two goal game against Houston was a good change of pace for the side. One that was needed even though the match would end in a 2-2 draw.

“The amount of players that we’ve had injuries. The amount of changing that we’ve had to do with the formation, mainly the formation in the group. You know, it’s terrific. Kudos to the players, really, because they’ve stuck to the task in what’s been a really troubling year.”

Minnesota United is now sitting in 5th place with 27 points and if MLS decides to go with the points/game mark the Loons would actually propel up to fourth place and end up hosting the 5th place team in the playoffs. MNUFC also has a nice little record on their hands in their last 10 matches, going 4-2-4 since September 6th.

The will now face a midweek challenge with Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night at Allianz Field in St. Paul. For the Rapids this will be their second match back since having a months worth of games cancelled or postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the team. Currently, Colorado sits in 11th of 12 places in the Western Conference with 19 points. If MLS was to go with the points/game formula then the Rapids would jump to 7th. Bumping Vancouver to 8th and San Jose out of the playoffs.