Minnesota’s win against Colorado caused head coach Adrian Heath to use the same lineup two weeks in a row, a first for the new MLS team.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 29, 2017
Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear made four changes to his lineup from last week. One of those changes was putting in Victor Bernardez at central defense, whose physicality seemed to give Loons striker Christian Ramirez trouble much of the night.
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) April 29, 2017
The announced crowd of 17,605 had hoped to see Minnesota jump out to a quick start. But not unlike the previous week’s game against Colorado, they struggled to find connections through the middle of the field in the first 45 minutes of action.
The best early scoring opportunity went to the Earthquakes in 14th minute. Cordell Cato received a cross at the top left side of the box. With a few moves, he created enough space to unleash a curling shot that hooked up and around Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, only to hit the crossbar and carom away. Miguel Ibarra slid in to block the follow-up cross from the left side of the box to get the Loons out of trouble.
Despite the lack of good finishing balls, United’s defense again looked much more solid than the display fans saw early in the season. In the 31st minute, Chris Wondolowski received a through-ball with right back Jérôme Thiesson slightly out of position. Center back Francisco Calvo swapped places with Thiesson, marking up on Wondolowski while the Swiss defender gave cover.
Late in the half, Ramirez and Kevin Molino had a nice give-and-go in the box, with Molino being flattened on the tackle and calling for a foul. Ramirez smartly kept playing and drove a hard ball toward Quakes keeper David Bingham, who was able to make a reflex save after glancing off his defender’s leg.
In the 54th minute, San Jose was awarded a corner. Jahmir Hyka played a driven curling ball to the far post which, somehow, found its way through several Minnesota defenders. The ball fell to the feet of Wondolowski who crossed the ball back to Florian Jungwirth on the left side of goal, tapping in from one yard out and putting the Earthquakes up 1-0.
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) April 30, 2017
The Loons leaned heavily on Shuttleworth, who was called on to keep the deficit to one goal. Marco Ureña was sent clear on the left side of the box. He rifled the ball low, forcing the Loons keeper into a reflex drop save.
Kofi Sarkodie saved his team from a draw in the 76th minute when he cleared a Calvo half-scissor from three yards out. Sarkodie was manning the near post and his quick reactions allowed him to head the ball away and keep the Loons off the board.
Lows, highs and everything in between…
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 30, 2017
Both teams had a few chances for the remainder of the game, but the highlights mainly came from the Loons substitutions. Abu Danladi came off the bench in the 64th minute for Johan Venegas who had another disappointing game. Minnesotan Ismaila Jome made his MLS debut when he came on in the 79th minute for Kevin Molino. Neither player looked out of place and Heath said afterwards they added the spark to the team that he wasn’t seeing from his starters.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 30, 2017
“I wanted a little bit more energy,” said Heath after the game. “I thought the two youngins came on and gave us that. They gave their teammates a lift, they gave the fans a lift. I support my players but I thought we were a little bit lacking tonight.”
Heath said he thought Danladi played well enough that he may see a start next week.
“Disappointed” is the word Loons head coach Heath used to describe his team’s performance. “It was a nearly night. We were nearly good, we nearly had the ball and nearly got it to people. It was just disappointing after how we have played the last three or four weeks.”
Molino seemed to agree with his coach’s description of the “nearly game.” “I think we were just a pass away from a goal,” said Molino, who has not scored in 434 minutes dating back to April 3. “Sometimes we are not on the same page. It happens in the game. It’s part of the game.”
Minnesota United — San Jose Earthquakes
Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Weather: 54°, Party Sunny
54’ – Florian Jungwirth
Assisted By: Chris Wondolowski, Jahmir Hyka
64′ Abu Danladi for Johan Venegas
78′ Simon Dawkins for Danny Hoesen
78′ Fatai Alashe for Chris Wondolowski
79′ Ismaila Jome for Kevin Molino
81′ Nick Lima for Kofi Sarkodie
90’ Bashkim Kadrii for Miguel Ibarra
87′ David Bingham: Time wasting
90’+3′ Jerome Thiesson: Unsporting Behavior
— FiftyFiveOne (@FiftyFiveOne) April 30, 2017
Tags: Abu Danladi, Adrian Heath, Chris Wondolowski, Christian Ramirez, Dominic Kinnear, Florian Jungwirth, Ismaila Jome, Jahmir Hyka, Kevin Molino, Minnesota United FC, San Jose Earthquakes, Victor Bernadez