What we learned from Philadelphia 1, MNUFC 1

MNUFC has one point after one game of the 2022 season. I don’t think that’s disappointing, because that point came on the road against Philadelphia, a very good team - and also because that point means the Loons have already exceeded their point total from the first four games of 2021. Here are a few things that I think we learned from the 1-1 draw.

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The MNUFC second XI shows what kind of offseason it's been

It’s week one of the MLS season, which seems impossible, what with the winter storm warnings blaring over today’s airwaves. Philadelphia’s weather is a little less ominous - it’ll be nearly 70 midweek before being mid-30s on Saturday - but still, this is too darn early for soccer season.

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We don't talk about Hunou, no no

For pretty much all of the 2021 season, Minnesota United’s goalscoring - or lack of it - was a pretty heated topic. It wasn’t a lack of offensive talent or even a lack of offensive creativity; the team, as a whole, simply could not find the back of the net.

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Could the MLB lockout make this the Summer of Soccer in the USA?

Pitchers and catchers did not report to spring training yesterday. Nor do pitchers and catchers seem like they’re going to report any time soon. Major League Baseball locked out its players earlier this offseason, and the owners and players seem very, very far from coming to any kind of collective bargaining agreement. So far, the themes seem to be that A) the owners will not rest until they have extracted every last concession from the players that they can possibly think of, B) the players are extremely angry at the owners for attempting to nickel-and-dime them during a period of expanding revenues, and C) neither side seems particularly concerned that fans may leave and never come back, even though all the signs seem to be pointing in that direction.

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The questions the Loons need to answer in Portland

Thursday was a travel day for MNUFC, as the Loons’ final leg of their preseason preparations is in Portland. Minnesota will play three games in seven days, two against MLS competition and one against Viking FK of Norway. By the time next Sunday rolls around, we should have a better idea of what this team is going to look like - especially since good sense has finally prevailed, and Loons fans (the ones in Minnesota at least) can watch at least two of the three games.

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Loons team, assemble!

There are lots of hard things that MNUFC has to deal with in the preseason. There’s the soul-sucking Minnesota winter that requires them to either train in a dome, or travel to warmer climates. This year, there’s the challenge of not only supplementing the first team but filling out an entirely new team, MNUFC 2. But particularly, the Loons’ biggest challenge this offseason has seemed to be somewhat more basic: simply getting all of the team’s players into the same physical location.

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After Kervin Arriaga and Luis Amarilla, what does MNUFC still need?

I went on vacation for two weeks. It is very clear to me that living in Minnesota rather than in someplace that’s warm in the winter is one of the great foolishnesses of my life. I can only blame my ancestors, who chose to live in Minnesota and thereby anchored each succeeding generation to the previous one, a punishment visited onto the nth generation.

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