Loons strike early before losing crucial match to Seattle Sounders 2-1
Both coach Adrian Heath and team captain Francisco Calvo called Minnesota Uniteds matchup with the Seattle Sounders FC the most important game this season for the Loons, with home points vital for the road weary Loons.
But despite designated player Darwin Quinteros early heroics, late mistakes doomed United to a bitter home loss when a playoff berth nearly hinged on a victory.
United fell 2-1 to Seattle on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 24,482. The Loons fell to 9-13-1 in eighth place in the Western conference while Seattle improved to 8-9-5 at 10th in the West and saw a four-game winning streak and seven-game unbeaten run continue.
The Loons looked pretty out of sorts early on in the game, and Seattle had prime scoring opportunities it failed to finish. But Quintero turned that all around in a snap.
The designated player did what hes known to do, create space where there seems to be none. He received the ball in the box and might a tight turn to lose his defender before splitting to others to thread the ball between them for the score in the 20th minute.
United looked more alive after that, with new designated player Angelo Rodriguez, in his debut, hitting the post on a header before Quintero rattled the woodwork as well before halftime.
But the Loons started to fall apart again around the 60th minute. First, a video assistant referee review nearly called Calvo for a hand ball in the box. And then shortly after the Loons escaped that scare, Seattle forward Raul Ruidiaz put the ball in the back of the net, but the officials ruled it offside.
Just after that almost goal, though, Calvo and Quintero were yelling at each other on the pitch, and Ibson had to step in between the two.
And then in the 90th minute, the Loons endued another video assistant referee review for a handball, and this one didnt go the Loons way. Winger Miguel Ibarra cleared committed the foul, and Seattle midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro stepped to sink the penalty in stoppage time.
And then in the very last minute of stoppage time, Seattle forward Will Bruin scored the late winner. And again, United looked like a train wreck after the whistle, with winger Alexi Gomez in the middle of a small scrum between the two teams.
The Loons now embark on a five-game road trip starting next Saturday at the LA Galaxy and wont play at home again until Sept. 22.
Other notes: Midfielder Rasmus Schuller came off at halftime with a slight groin pull, coach Adrian Heath said on the TV broadcast.