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Notebook: Slow start leads to MNUFC walking away with one point.

“In the end, two points dropped because we started the game like we did. No other reason” - Adrian Heath

June 23, 2021 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath looks on during the match against Austin FC at Allianz Field. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Saturday night ahead of Independence Day on Sunday, Minnesota United hosted the San Jose Earthquakes in the Loons 11th match of the 2021 season. It did not start the way MNUFC would have wanted with a very slow start and 30 minutes. Something manager Adrian Heath was not happy about, saying:

“I don’t know. I don’t know. Tried to rectify it at halftime. And we had a response. I’m at a bit of a loss, really, because the one thing that we spoke about is starting the games quickly on the front foot. At home especially. And, I said to you guys in the week that if we don’t treat these with the respect that they deserve, then the game is gonna be a difficult afternoon. I thought we might have just got out of it. In the end, two points dropped because we started the game like we did. No other reason.

Brent Kallman who scored the first goal for MNUFC had a different outlook:

“I don’t know, sometimes we start slow. I mean we always talk about how important a good start is and tonight it just took us a while to get going. I can’t tell you exactly what the reason is but we know we got to be better than that to start.”

Chase Gasper was unsure why they did, but made no excuses on how poor of a start MNUFC had to the match.

“I don’t know I don’t really want to say anything like there’s no excuse we don’t want to give excuses out there. Like I did say beforehand it is the summer- we’ve kind of just stretched very tough but it’s tough on everyone. And [San Jose] is playing away from home, and they came out flying so I think it’s just unacceptable on our end and we are definitely we are going to look to change that going into the following game.”

At the half Adrian Heath made a few changes, with DJ Taylor and Ramón Ábila replacing Jukka Raitala and Niko Hansen respectively, to bring the team up and try and counterattack another slow start. Post match he stated:

“As I probably said on the broadcast, the two that came off, couldn’t find themselves unlucky because it could have been five or six the way we played. And, I just felt down that side that if we had a bit more pace, we’d get more energy, and we might use that area. Because I felt that was where most the of space for us was and I don’t think we used it well enough when we had the ball first half.”

Brent Kallman felt the second half looked a lot better for Minnesota:

“I think a lot of it was energy related. It’s no secret that [San Jose] plays a weird style and we were very well prepared for it. We just got back to the basics of what we worked on during the week. Finding the free man who’s not man marked, taking space and finding the next pass. We struggled to do it the first half. There were a lot of turnovers. The second half was a lot better.”

However at the end of the day Chase Gasper still stated the team was not happy with the result of the match:

“No not a positive. Anytime we play at home we expect to get three points. You know there’s no disrespect to San Jose, it’s just that they haven’t been in the best form and we’ve been in form, so we were hoping to capitalize on that and get a huge three points that I think would have boosted us into the top four standings but unfortunately didn’t happen. So it’s not the best feeling coming out of this game.”