#MINvATL Open Game Thread

by on 12 March 2017

When? – 4:00 p.m. CDT, Sunday, March 12
Where? – TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
How to Watch? ESPN2
How to Listen? 1500 ESPN


Official Hashtag: #MINvATL
Follow us at @FiveFiftyOne!

Team Accounts
Minnesota United FC – @mnufc
Atlanta United FC – @ATLUTD

Live Updates
MNUFC Gameday – @mnunitedgameday

Pre-Match Reading:

Match Preview: Minnesota United FC vs. Atlanta United FC (FiftyFive.One)
Training Report: Justin Davis Reacts to MLS Debut (FiftyFive.One)

Nothing ‘United’ about MLS expansion teams in Minnesota, Atlanta (Pioneer Press)
United’s home debut: Step aside, football. It’s time for … football (Star Tribune)

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  • Alex Schieferdecker

    Not gonna lie, I’d love to blow them out. But in reality, I suspect it’ll be a close game.

    Atlanta come out of the gate strong and often score early, so we need to keep the ball early, slow it down, build patiently, and get them cold. Hoping Adrian gets his tactics right this time, and Johan doesn’t get marooned as a lone striker again.

    • Alex Schieferdecker

      Alvbåge; Theisson, Demidov, Calvo, Taylor; Warner, Schüller Saeid; Molino, Venegas, Ramirez

      I think Heath’s got this wrong again, and I’m worried he doesn’t have the nerve to play the 4-2-2-2 team that absolutely killed preseason. Hope I’m wrong.

      At any rate, this XI needs to come out of the gate well. Atlanta have dominated the early game of every match they’ve played. It’s key that we hold the ball early.

      • Clint

        Agree. Worried this mid trio will lack any punch. Maybe Christian is the difference.

        • Peter S.

          Nope 🙁

  • Timothy J Hayes

    Surely, I am not the only one that is shocked with Jermaine Taylor in the starting 11 again?

  • Alex Schieferdecker

    What did I say?

  • Alex Schieferdecker

    Second straight embarrassment at the hands of Adrian Heath’s inept managerial choices. Once was excusable, but the second time is not acceptable.

    The 4-3-3 is a disaster, why are we playing with three midfielders when we cannot control the midfield? Why are we deliberately taking out one of our attacking players for a ball possessing midfielder and then playing as if that position’s role is unchanged. Why is Jermaine Taylor in the eleven, let alone the eighteen?

    Against Colorado, there needs to be an entirely different approach. Replace Taylor with Davis who at least won’t jog when he gets beat. Replace Demidov, who has been an unexpected disaster, with Kallman. Replace the LM with Ibarra and let him earn the money you’re paying him.

    The attack was working fine in preseason and the defense, while occasionally leaky, was still working hard. Heath, by playing this idiotic conservative 4-3-3, the same formation that flailed against Vancouver and sank against Toronto, has embarrassed the club through the first two games of the season.

    • Eric Beckman

      I agree on Demidov. Seemed a good signing, but clearly has struggled. Also, I’m not sure about the decision to start Thiesson next him after Thiesson had only been in the country for 72 hours. And, I’d love to see Ibarra, too. Especially since the team as currently composed clearly lacks pace.

      • Chris RB

        good lord was this clear today:

        “Especially since the team as currently composed clearly lacks pace”

        got beat to EVERY free/long ball, even when players were relatively equidistant and motionless. It’s not the players’ FAULT they’re slow, but the tactics need to account for that.

      • Spence

        I agree with this, although I would have used more swear words.

  • Jeff Wolter

    Was their really any clear style of attacking play in those first two games?

    The defending play lacked the look of a working unit. Too many direct 1v1 to goal.


    The coach may need some help.

  • John Asbury

    I get the strategy. Get a bunch of players who have potential, but have generally not been given the opportunity, and see who rises to the challenge to avoid spending big money on DPs that don’t pan out. But, that’s hard on the fans and not a good way to sell the team. I think these two games show enough. Time for some DPs. The longer we wait, the more hesitant they’ll be to come play here.

    There were times in this game where I truly believe that some players had no idea where their teammates were or where the ball was. I only saw one pass to space, where a United player actually ran into that space and the pass was completed.

    • Eric Beckman

      I don’t think the problem is with the strategy as much as with the execution. They spent some money on players. A competently set up professional team should not loss 6-1 at home to an expansion team. Atlanta has spent more money, but they are still playing MLSSoccerBall. This wasn’t Mpls City vs. ManCity.