Loons falling behind early too often this season

Published 7:59 am Monday, April 30, 2018

Seven games into the season, Minnesota United is at a bit of a loss.

A four-game loss, to be more accurate.

Heading into Saturday night’s match against the Houston Dynamo at TCF Bank Stadium, the Loons have been outscored 10-1 in the first half of their seven matches. They’re also on track to allow 73 goals this year, which would top their league record of 70 last season.

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To be fair, at this point a year ago United was on pace to concede 117 goals, and that clearly didn’t happen. But while the team is undoubtedly better than its first-year incarnation, team captain Francisco Calvo is still unclear as to why his squad can’t pull together a full 90-minute game.

“It’s not a secret that we’re not getting into the games at the right point,” the center back said. “If you ask me why, I don’t have the right answer right now. … I’m pretty sure if we do the right thing, we’re going to beat any team in this league. I’m sure about it. But we need to do it. We need to stop talking and do it.”

Talking is something coach Adrian Heath is tired of doing. The coach said he felt like a broken record player telling his players how it’s unacceptable to give themselves a mountain to climb by letting in easy early goals. A theme of the past several games has been that United plays well for the first 20 minutes or so, only to let in several goals within the span of minutes. And though the team picks up its performance in the second half, it’s too late to avoid a loss.

Heath pointed to individual errors as the cause of those goals and said the defensive shape of the team was actually pretty good.

By Megan Ryan

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.