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Notebook: Up a man for 70 minutes isn’t enough for three points

Even after an early red for the Quakes, MNUFC failed to secure a win

MLS: Minnesota United FC at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night Minnesota United headed to San Jose to face the Earthquakes on just two days rest. After a 21st minute red card to the San Jose Earthquakes the Loons Wil Trapp scored a minute later, his first for Minnesota.

“It’s a good moment, of course I wish it would have come in a win.” said Wil Trapp “It’s always nice to score, I don’t score very often so it’s exciting for me. Hopefully we can continue to add more of that in the games coming forward.”

However after that goal the night didn’t really go well for Minnesota United. As the Loons wouldn’t be able to score again in the next 70 minutes, ending with a draw.

“It’s obviously disappointing.” said Adrian Heath “I actually thought we played well the first half when they went down the man. Played more horizontal. Tried to switch the point of attack and spread them out a little bit. I thought second half we were too vertical and didn’t really make the man advantage pay enough. Then when we did get into the final third, I don’t think our quality was good enough this evening. I don’t know how many opportunities we’ve had to put the ball in the box, but, I don’t think their keeper has had enough to do in the second half.”

That lack of things to do for their keeper was a pretty massive issue, while the Loons did get 15 total shots, they only put 3 of those 15 on goal. This really showed a lack of offense for Minnesota. Something Heath discussed post match.

“Because our quality wasn’t good enough. We’d gotten off of the ball in their half of the field, as I say, I don’t think we play side to side enough. The overload is on the opposite side. The weaker side. When they only then start to play one up, and you keep playing in straight lines, you’re not really getting what’s in your numerical advantage. And when we did get it wide and when we did get overloads in wide areas… I’ll just say that I don’t think we had enough quality tonight.”

While Heath said, which many fans agree with, that the Loons were not good enough with their offensive quality, Trapp had some differing opinions.

“I think it was more about how the game was. They are a team that likes to isolate and play man for man. Especially when they are down a man it really puts them in their shell more. We tried to draw them out but we didn’t do it in the most intelligent ways. We got our fullbacks on the ball, but now where does the danger come from? We really want to get the ball in to ‘Rey’ and in to Ethan, in to Justin in to Adrien [Hunou] and in to Juan [Agudelo] when he came in. San Jose did a good job of compacting that space. So our patience our tempo and ultimately our spacing could have been better.”

Trapp would also give thoughts on what the Earthquakes did after going down a man early in the first half.

“It’s interesting at times, they almost can’t help themselves at times – based on how they train – to press players. They are a hard-working group. You saw [Jeremy] Ebobisse, you saw Cade Cowell when he came on, they are still working to press our centerbacks. Ultimately I think the distance between their front strikers and their midfield line was huge, the gaps there. Once again we were too far apart, the next line and then the next line. Creating those spaces, those attractions to bring players out of position could have been sharper for us.”