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Notebook: Late goals again

Are the late goals the Loons seem to regularly achieve a positive or negative?

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota United once again managed to sneak out with points after going down early and scoring late. This has happened each of the last three matches where MNUFC has either gone down early and won late or just won late. Adrian Heath had a positive spin to it in the post match press conference.

“The honesty of the players. They don’t give in. We’ve got a really good bunch and they kept going. I thought we got what we deserved this evening. Even from the first half, I thought on the counter-attack, when we broke play up, we were one pass, one quality ball away from having good opportunities. To play the way we have against a team like [LAFC], who move the ball as well as they do and to score as late as we did, shows a great level of commitment and I was so pleased for the players because I thought that the desire to actually do the game plan and do what we asked of them was magnificent.”

Tyler Miller is also seeing the late comebacks as a sign of resiliency, something he said the team didn’t have at the beginning of the season.

“We’re starting to find this resiliency that, maybe was lacking, or we didn’t know we had earlier on in the season. Now you’re really seeing guys that, when we’re faced with adversity, we’re able to handle it, we’re able to bounce back and have belief in ourselves, no matter what the scoreline is or how the game is going. To be honest, [LAFC] had a lot of possession but we knew that going in that they were going to be that style of team to play against where we’re going to defend and we’re only going to get a few chances. Hassani [Dotson] hit an amazing, amazing goal to tie the game but you have to go back and look at all the little plays that kept us in the game and kept us going that everybody made around the field. That really helped propel us to a big point on the road in a difficult place to play.”

This is a feeling that Hassani Dotson also reiterated.

“This season we’ve had good play but with the first four losses that we took, we looked at each other and we realized that we needed to play with a little more grit, little more energy. That’s showed in the last two results coming back. And getting a good result for us. The mentality has been ‘it’s not over until it’s over’ and keep fighting and keep pushing and do your best and the rest will take care of itself.”

Heath sent his team into a counter attacking style that had the desired effect as he said post match.

“To be fair to them, and I give [LAFC] so much praise, they do take chances in term of pushing more men forward. They virtually play man-for-man at the back, and if you can break quickly, get a good first ball into your front men and then start to get runners off there, you have opportunities. Probably the only thing I could be a little bit disappointed, in the first half, I thought we had some good quality moments and our final ball was, perhaps, not what it should have been. But in terms of, as I say, executing the game plan, couldn’t ask any more of [the players].”