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Notebook: Heath comes away with positives in Draw in Houston

Even though the Loons blew a 2-0 lead, the gaffer still had some positive things to say about the match.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Houston Dynamo Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota United had a 2-0 lead heading into halftime on Saturday night against Houston Dynamo on the road. However that lead would be scuppered by two Dynamo goals and any plans to end it would be dashed with Jan Gregus’ red card late in the match. And while I myself am disappointed in the result, and by the GIF reactions on our Twitter account, many fans are as well; Adrian Heath doesn’t seem to feel the same way about coming away with one point.

“Yeah. I think that the way that we’ve been playing on the road. And, with the injury situation that we’ve had. And, the amount of games that we’ve had on the road. Probably. We know it’s a difficult place to come and play. They’re playing with a lot of confidence for a re-settled team. So, yeah, maybe we would have done. Obviously, when you’re 2-nil at halftime, it seems a huge disappointment. But, for the first time on the road in a few weeks, I thought there was quite a lot of positives to take something from.”

Starting goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair had a completely different, albeit fairly relaxed, view of the result.

“I think anytime you have a two-goal lead and you give it up, you’re never happy. I think it’s disappointing, but we will take it and we’ll move forward.”

A big high in that first half was Dayne’s save of former Loon, Darwin Quintero’s penalty kick. Adrian Heath was notably impressed with the youngsters save.

“Great save and we didn’t make the most of the save. You know, their center back or whoever it was reacts first. That’s down to us. You know, it was Kev’s [Molino] man, probably, and, you know, obviously an unnatural defender. And, you always think, you should always think the worst, the keeper might save it, or does it come back into play. And, that’s what happened. But, you know, these things happen.”

Dayne himself, broke down his process on saving that shot.

“Penalties, I think, are mental battles. So, I was just trying to delay to build the pressure up for the moment and then of course we both are familiar with each other, so I kind of wanted that to play in his head the longer things went on. And then, just make a decision and hopefully save it.”

The first 45 minutes and last 45 minutes honestly looked to be a very different setup and style. Heath was asked about the changes in for the second 45 and he said:

“Well, you know, Dayne [St. Clair] makes a great save on Darwin’s [Quintero] free kick, and then we don’t follow it up. But, no, we knew, said at halftime. We’ve all played in these games when we’ve been on the receiving end. You know, the next goal is going to be the crucial goal, especially on the road. And, you know, I said to them, if they get the first goal, we’ve got to dig in because they’re going to keep coming. As I said, they’re in a rich vein of form, they’re very good at home, and I knew the next goal was going to be huge. So, I didn’t think at halftime the game was won by any stretch of imagination. What I did know, that, if we had some quality on the counterattack, because, I knew they would keep pushing on, that we would have opportunities. And, we did. Kevin [Molino] has hit the post, [Emanuel] Reynoso has hit the post. So, we did have a few opportunities. But, as I said, I’m looking at some positives tonight because there hasn’t been too many on the road the last few weeks, and there was some positives tonight.”

However Jan’s red card is a different situation for the team as it means one of the Loons best set piece takers is out for Wednesday’s match against Columbus. Heath also appeared confused at the initial decision and hasn’t ruled out an appeal.

“Jan [Gregus] doesn’t know what he’s got it for, so, that’s the starting point. I haven’t seen it, no. I didn’t know what it was for. I actually thought it was for something that [Emanuel] Reynoso had done. And not Jan. So, we’ll have a look at it. We’ll see where that leaves us. I never hold my breath about these things. But, if we feel as though we could appeal it, then we will.”

Extra Tidbits:

Adrian Heath when asked about Greg Ranjitsingh:

“Yeah, it wasn’t as bad as first feared. So, that’s a bit of a booster for the kid. I think he thought the worst and the season would have been over, so we feel as though it wasn’t as bad as first feared.”

Heath when asked about Molino’s status:

“He felt his hamstring was tight. You know, obviously, when you get a little bit of fatigue, that can happen. He felt it when he stretched when he hit the post late on. And, same again, we’ll have a better idea tomorrow or Monday to see where we are. But, certainly, the way that he’s playing, we will not be risking him on Wednesday if that’s the case.”