Star Tribune: MNUFC Notebook

Minnesota manager Eric Ramsay
Image credit: Daniel Mick

Game Story: MNUFC 2, San Jose 0


Minnesota United is focusing on its first Leagues Cup game in Seattle on Friday night, but Robin Lod has a stop to make on the way — at Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.

Not that the Finnish midfielder would ever display an excess of enthusiasm about anything, but he did allow he is excited about one thing: being in a team with former Barcelona (and current Inter Miami) stars Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

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Transfer News

Minnesota United is closing in on another summer signing. A source confirmed that forward Kelvin Yeboah is expected to arrive in Minnesota this week for medical testing, in what could be one of the final steps toward one of MNUFC’s most consequential acquisitions of the summer.

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Star Tribune: Transfer window opens, Loons take on San Jose

For more than a month, Minnesota United waited to get many of its current players back from international duty. With the opening of the MLS transfer window on Thursday, the team finally can add new players, too — and now with fewer restrictions.

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Everyone knows what Minnesota United is capable of on the counterattack. The Loons have three players — Sang Bin Jeong, Joseph Rosales and Tani Oluwaseyi — among the 20 fastest players in the league this season, and so much of Minnesota’s offense is based simply on letting those players kick things into high gear.

San Jose comes to town Saturday, having lost three-quarters of its games this season (4-18-2). Minnesota might display that higher gear again, but the Loons are still struggling to find a lower gear to balance their attack. It’s rare to see them stringing together a bunch of passes to move down the field, slowly building up through possession, keeping the ball moving and making the other team chase.

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Star Tribune: Defending set pieces continues to be an aggravating problem for Minnesota United

Loons defender Devin Padelford
Image credit: Minnesota United FC

There’s no getting around it – set pieces are killing Minnesota United.

After Saturday’s draw at Houston, manager Eric Ramsay noted that the team’s own numbers ranked Minnesota as “one of the worst” teams in the league at defending set pieces. Wednesday against DC, the Loons got even worse, giving up goals in the 90th and 91st minutes, both from set pieces, to turn what looked like a win into perhaps the worst loss of the team’s now-nine-game winless stretch.

“I don’t think you could lose a game in a worse way,” said Ramsay.

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Star Tribune: MNUFC Notebook

A view of Allianz Field from the north
Image credit: Daniel Mick

Over the past seven games, Minnesota United has been in a free fall down the Western Conference standings. The Loons, in third place after defeating Sporting KC, have dropped all the way down to the 10th spot, out of the playoffs.

Since he took over the Loons, coach Eric Ramsay has mostly gone game-by-game with his approach. He rarely mentions the team’s spot in the table, or whether they might be in the playoff places — but that doesn’t mean he’s unaware. And he’s setting his goals for the rest of the season realistically.

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Star Tribune: Loons hurt hard by Copa América

MNUFC striker Tani Oluwaseyi
Image credit: Daniel Mick

A month ago, Minnesota United was one of the hottest teams in MLS. With 28 points in 15 games, they were sailing along at a pace that would have won the Western Conference in three of the preceding four seasons.

The Loons’ record since then, though, shows just how much of a hole has been blown in the side of what was a promising voyage: Six games, zero wins, just one point.

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MNUFC Pregame: Explaining the Loons' goalkeeper situation

MNUFC goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair
Image credit: Daniel Mick

In 2023, Minnesota United had four goalkeepers on its first-team roster – overkill, perhaps, but an acknowledgement that no team ever wants to run short of keepers.

This year, the Loons went with a different plan: two goalkeepers on the MLS roster, two more signed to their MLS NEXT Pro roster.

Though they knew that starter Dayne St. Clair would likely miss some time with the Canadian national team during Copa América, they had MLS veteran Clint Irwin ready to fill in, plus Alec Smir and former Homegrown player Fred Emmings signed with MNUFC2 and eligible for short-term backup duty.

All that could go wrong was a few poorly-timed injuries – which, in this month of cascading roster disasters, is of course exactly what happened.