Louis Livingston-Garcia photo.

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Loons Look to Future

by on 26 October 2018

What next?

That has to be the question Minnesota United fans, players, and staff are asking after a second season of missing out on the playoffs, and not gathering too many points.

Not only that, but many view the team as having no identity. It’s one thing to lose, but another to lose week after week without a sound plan or philosophy.

Some fans are jaded, unsure – upset.

In its final match of the season against the Columbus Crew, United has a chance to better its goals against record. Or at the very least, give its fans one more good performance. It could also give some minutes to two players returning from injury.

“Well, we’ll see how they are towards the end of the week,” United head coach Adrian Heath said about Romario Ibarra and Abu Danladi. “But, you know, you would like to get them on the field, maybe get them some minutes before the season ends. But, really for us, we thought they’d give us 20 minutes, half an hour today. We’ll have to see where we think it is next week. Because the last thing we need to do now, with one game left, is push them and maybe they break down. We’ve got a really good period now where we can get some proper work into them and hopefully build them up so they’re nice and sharp and fit for the start of next season.

“I think Columbus have still got to win the game, I think,” he continued. “So, we owe it to Montreal and everybody else. That’s what I’ve said to the boys. This might be the last game here, but the guys in Montreal have worked as hard as anybody to get themselves in a position to have a chance and we owe it to them to go and put a performance in.”

Defender and Woodbury, Minn., native Brent Kallman said the team needs to show up in Columbus.

“We have to show improvement, especially on the road,” Kallman said. “We have a lot to prove to ourselves and to everybody on the road. We have to give a good performance. We have to keep the game close and make sure we are nice and compact, defensively, and not give up silly goals. We have to make Columbus earn everything next week.”

Louis Livingston-Garcia photo.

What comes after is a new season. A new stadium. A new start.

Allianz Field has Kallman excited.

“Grass and we will have a permanent home,” Kallman said of the difference United’s new home will provide. “We won’t be in the visitor locker room or anything like that. It will be our place and it will be home. It will be a proper set up, if you will. It will be an awesome atmosphere, I think.”

Plus, for Kallman, it will really be like home.

“It is on the way to Woodbury for me. When I go back to Woodbury to see family it is right there. It is awesome, especially at night.”

A win over the Crew and the new stadium can help satiate fans who have been uneasy as of late. A perusal of social media paints a picture of fans who don’t believe in the team’s guidance anymore.

Kallman has a message for them.

“Thank you so much for staying with us all year even though we had a lot of ups and downs. Probably a little bit more downs and they stood with us and they kept coming out. They are incredible during the game. They give us that push when we’re here at home and that is why we have a good home field advantage. If we could have figured out our road form a little bit better this year we would have actually given ourselves a chance. That has a lot to do with them, so thank you so much.”

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