Minnesota United FC had their fair share of challenges ahead of Saturday’s match with Philadelphia Union. After initially expecting nearly all players to be listed as healthy the Loons would have to make some late changes to their lineup as four players we’re listed out for injury.
“Well, we had a great preseason and liked knowing we had virtually everyone available, apart from a couple of players”, said Adrian Heath. “And then this week, you know, Chase got that concussion in Portland, Romain felt a little twitch in his hamstring again so we were not prepared to take the risk with that, and Wil didn’t really respond as much as we thought. At no stage last week did we think that Wil wouldn’t have been available.”
However even with having to rely on players that we’re not initially part of the Starting XI, Heath seemed relatively please, stating.
“But the guys that come in had done great. You know, Luis had a chance early on, I thought Kervin had a great debut in midfield. It’s difficult in there against a team that plays with a diamond, so they’ve got plenty of bodies in the middle of the pitch and I thought we dealt with it really, really well. I thought Fisher did a really good job, as we expected, to come in and be everything we thought he’d be – experienced, got forward at the right time – so no I felt there was a lot of busy things that had changed for us.”
Robin Lod did not seem to concerned with the injuries causing changed to the lineup, saying “I mean it’s part of the game” and “We have a lot of good guys, we have a lot of depth” in regards to the situation.
The Loons, Robin Lod did manage to score the away sides only goal of the match when Franco Fragapane sent him a through ball inside the box in the first half.
“Last as I saw that Fraga [Franco Fragapane] is running down the left side, I always need to be in a situation to let myself get inside the box to get on the places to score”, Lod recalled during the post match presser. “I think pretty early, Fraga saw my run. So around on the so called second play, I mean it was pretty good. Luis [Amarilla] didn’t get the ball, but I think at the same moment he might have confused the defense to give me more time and space, so yeah I got a good kick on the ball and I’m happy for the goal.”
Adrian Heath was happy the club’s opening goal during the match as he stated.
“Obviously good goal, and as I’ve always said we’ve got intelligent players who can create and score goals in the final third. I think that the trick was Fragapane looked to see how they were pressing and reacted to that, and then he had the extra touch and that opened it up a little bit for the people in the middle.”
After the match Robin Lod was asked about how he felt getting the first match played before coming back to Allianz Field for the home opener.
“I don’t think this is something to construct. I feel like it will be our first game home, and everybody’s moving forward, with the first game over now,” Lod said. “As a second game, I feel like everybody’s happy to get back home. Maybe it helps a little bit to get the first game out of the way, to get the nerves out. So, I feel so happy to go play in Allianz Field, I love playing in front of our fans, and the atmosphere is always so electric, but I’m excited to go back to play at Allianz Field and yeah, I feel really confident.”