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 Minnesota United FC

Minnesota United and Colorado Rapids Split Points in 3-3 Draw

May 26, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Minnesota United FC News Release

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Minnesota United played to a 3-3 draw against the Colorado Rapids, securing a point at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and extending its undefeated streak to three games (2W, 1D) against the Rapids. The Loons will travel to Los Angeles to prepare for their match against LAFC on Wednesday, May 29 at BMO Stadium.

2' - Colorado Rapids forward Kevin Cabral received a pass into the six-yard box, firing off a close-range shot that missed wide left of the Minnesota goal post.

6' - Colorado yet again had numbers deep into MNUFC's box, where a ball-in from the right side found an open Rafael Navarro on the opposite end, who took a shot that missed wide. However, Navarro was ruled offside.

8' - Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod gained possession on a loose ball before making a quick run and thru-ball pass to fellow Midfielder Sang Bin Jeong. Jeong then made a sprint towards goal, ultimately sneaking the ball past Rapids' goalkeeper Zack Steffen to give the Loons the early 1-0 lead.

17' - MNUFC goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair made a fingertip save on a shot from Navarro, who had weaved past two Loons defenders into the six-yard box.

18' - The Rapids quickly responded after Navarro's saved shot when Cabral received a header pass in midfield from Omir Fernandez. Cabral then beat out defender Michael Boxall to force a one-v-one with St. Clair, ultimately scoring to equalize the match.

24' - Rosales makes a shot from atop Colorado's box, which was initially saved by Steffen. Upon the rebound, forward Tani Oluwaseyi quickly struck a shot that found the back of the net in the near post. Oluwaseyi was initially ruled offside, but a check from VAR overturned the ruling, deeming Oluwaseyi onside, and the goal was awarded to Minnesota United.

33' - MNUFC struck again following a forced turnover in its own half, where Oluwaseyi gained possession and quickly turned a pass up the field. His pass connected with Jeong, who made a run towards goal and past the Rapids defender. The Korea international struck the shot past Steffen to extend the Loons' lead and bag a brace on the night.

45'+7' - Defender DJ Taylor conceded a foul just outside the left side of the keeper's box, giving the Rapids a free kick. The short-range set piece was sent towards goal, pinballing in front of the net before eventually being cleared. The halftime whistle was blown shortly after the clearance.

52' - Sang Bin Jeong was fouled by Moise Bombito just outside of the Colorado 18-yard box. He took the free kick, which bent over the Rapids' wall and was saved by Steffen.

54' - Jeong gained possession when Bombito attempted to head the ball away from a scrum and caused a turnover. Sang Bin ran quickly towards goal and fired off a shot that missed just wide of the right post, nearly scoring his third goal of the game.

62' - The Rocky Mountain side scored their second goal of the game off of a corner kick attempt. The ball was sent into the Minnesota box off a corner by Djordje Mihailović where Navarro headed it into the far post.

67' - Colorado made a run at goal when Navarro sent a ball into the box. Loons defender DJ Taylor ran in to attempt to make a tackle inside the six-yard box, but ultimately clipped Omir Fernandez and the Rapids were awarded a penalty kick attempt following the foul.

69' - Navarro's penalty kick attempt was saved by St. Clair's right foot and was ricocheted away from the Loons' box and back into play.

71' - Just moments after the saved penalty kick attempt, Cabral headed a cross, sent in by Cole Bassett, right at St. Clair. The stop was initially made, but the ball rolled across the line and into the net to equalize the match at 3-3.

75' - Sam Vines found space atop the semi-circle of Minnesota United's box before curling a powerful shot at goal, forcing St. Clair to make yet another save on the night.

80' - Continuing a relentless offensive surge, the Rapids saw yet another scoring opportunity be saved by St. Clair when Navarro connected a header from a corner kick, but the ball went right to the Loons' keeper.

87' - MNUFC forward Teemu Pukki nearly scored the game-winner when he found space alone inside Colorado's box via a pass from Wil Trapp, forcing a one-v-one challenge with Steffen. Pukki beat the Rapids' keeper, but his shot curled just wide enough to hit the far post and bounce the opposite direction away from goal.


1-0 MIN - Sang Bin Jeong (Robin Lod) - 8'

1-1 COL - Kevin Cabral (Omir Fernandez) - 18'

2-1 MIN - Tani Oluwaseyi (unassisted) - 24'

3-1 MIN - Sang Bin Jeong (Tani Oluwaseyi) - 33'

3-2 COL - Rafael Navarro (Djordje Mihailović) - 62'

3-3 COL - Kevin Cabral (Cole Bassett) - 71'


MIN - Joseph Rosales (caution) - 52'

MIN - DJ Taylor (caution) - 67'

MIN - Kervin Arriaga (caution) - 69'

MIN - Devin Padelford (caution) - 74'


10 - Robin Lod tonight against the Colorado Rapids provided his 10th assist of the season, to-date. With 10 assists, the Finnish international is now tied for second in MLS in assists provided with FC Cincinnati's Luciano Acosta and is only two assists behind Inter Miami CF's Lionel Messi (12).

2 - Sang Bin Jeong scored his second and third goal of the season. His three goals of the season come in back-to-back games and are an MLS career-high.

6 - Tani Oluwaseyi scored his sixth goal of the season and third goal in three consecutive road games. He also recorded his third assist of the night after assisting in Sang Bin's second goal of the night.

6 - Dayne St. Clair made six saves tonight for the first time since March 2, 2024 against the Columbus Crew. He denied a penalty kick attempt by Colorado's Rafael Navarro.



Minnesota United XI: GK Dayne St. Clair; D Joseph Rosales, Devin Padelford, Kervin Arriaga, Michael Boxall ©, DJ Taylor; M Wil Trapp, Carlos Harvey, Robin Lod; F Tani Oluwaseyi, Sang Bin Jeong

Bench: GK Clint Irwin; D Victor Eriksson; M Franco Fragapane, Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Alejandro Bran, Hassani Dotson, Caden Clark; F Teemu Pukki, Jordan Adebayo-Smith

Colorado Rapids XI: GK Zack Steffen; D Keegan Rosenberry ©, Sam Vines, Andreas Maxo, Moise Bombito; M Djordje Mihailovic, Oliver Larraz, Cole Bassett; F Rafael Navarro, Omir Fernandez, Kevin Cabral

Bench: GK Adam Beaudry; D Lalas Abubakar, Sebastian Anderson, Jackson Travis; M Connor Ronan, Jasper Loffelsend; F Jonathan Lewis, Calvin Harris, Darren Yapi



BMO Stadium | Los Angeles, California

05.28.2024 | MLS 2024 Regular Season | Match 14

9:45 p.m. CT (FS1/MLS Season Pass - Free/1500 ESPN)



On his thoughts on the game...

"It was chaos. It certainly wasn't the match that we wanted it to be. Part of me, based on what people have told me about coming here, expected perhaps it to be the case, maybe not quite to that extent, but we leave here happy to have taken a point. If someone had said that we'd take a point beforehand, given everything that goes with coming to play in Colorado, I would have taken it.

Yes of course, I would have much preferred that we produced a better level of performance, but I'm also having to try and evaluate that and feed back to the players and talk to the players within the context of a set of conditions that I've never experienced before. I don't know to what extent they influence the performance. I don't know to what extent you can separate elements of our performance from the conditions as a whole, but I can certainly say that we didn't look like the team that we've been over the course of the last five games in the opening stages of the game and it became very clear that we were going to find it difficult to play well here. But, obviously, that influenced our approach. It's probably one of those that I will try and erase from my memory to a certain extent because I know we're not going to play in those conditions again. I know those conditions really influence the way games are played here. The fact that we showed some real battling spirit and to an extent executed some of the game plan okay. I'm happy and we move on swiftly."

On the challenges of the aerial duels...

"We really struggled with the ball today. We didn't show any signs I would say of coming near to the team that we've been on, we've been our best with the ball that leads us to playing forward very quickly. It means that we're not well-connected to pick up second balls up when they drop. We give an awful lot of space away behind the back line once we've played forward, so a combination of playing forward too quickly, not being prepared enough for the duels, leaving too big a space behind the back line. I would say that would be the three biggest factors, but it starts with not having our fair share of the ball, I suppose. But again, I'm trying to make sure that I'm weighing the circumstances here because they certainly play their part."

On the altitude conditions...

"People find it difficult to come here and play. I don't think that's a secret. Players say the ball moves differently than how it moves elsewhere. Obviously, it's very... I mean I found myself [feeling the altitude] when I went on a run this morning. You can feel it instantly. So I know that's no surprise to anyone who's been around the league for a long time. It's obviously new to me, so there's far more unpredictability to coming here, so we're conscious of that. We wanted to try and manage the game and be sensible with the height that we took up when we were defending, the way in which we managed to set play moments, and to a certain point that in the first 56 minutes aside, we were able to execute that. But that led to a pretty ugly performance, I would say, and not one that I would like to see us produce again."

On tonight's performance potentially being an extreme example of controlling a game without having the ball or much possession...

"We don't want to defend like that. We certainly don't want to defend that deep. It became pretty clear after a certain period of the game that we didn't look as sharp as we normally look as a back line. I don't know again to what extent the altitude played there. We did look very slow to drop, very slow to defend the space, so part of the solution there is obviously to try and take away some of that space and to defend a little bit lower, which we did to a relatively good effect, certainly in the first half and in the closing stages.

I felt like that was probably the way to continue the game in the second half. It didn't feel like, for me, that there was a quick fire away at half time to make us immediately better on the ball, to have more control, to find more energy. I think that almost the course of the game has been set from that point. So, yes, we tried to freshen up a bit with the way we used the substitutes, but in some senses, it had an error of inevitability about that in the second half that we were going to end up defending our box for long periods, and obviously they're attacking and their crowd certainly contributes to the amount of energy that they finished the game with, so you're hopeful that we're going to finish the game level, and at best, we're going to have a couple of chances on the counterattack, which we did and came very close with it. So yeah, I won't be drawing too many meaningful conclusions from this game because it's so unique, these sets of conditions. I don't think there's a great deal that I'll be taking forward and I won't be dwelling on my feedback with the players."

On what needs to change from a defensive standpoint on defending the long balls from opponents...

"'You can't be everything' would be my first response. You can't be a team that's very compact and stop teams from playing through you and also be able to defend all the space that you are leaving behind. So to a certain extent, there's little bit of collateral damage there. Obviously, when we're at our best, we can defend with the high line. We can defend the spacing behind because players make good decisions. They're able to concentrate, they're quick to drop, they're really well-connected, they cover distance as well. Obviously, we weren't that today, but I would say that as a consequence of a load of things because we don't get a good pressure on the ball from the front, so the ball comes on top of us far more often than it would if we were defending at our best. We didn't look like we were able to concentrate well. We didn't look particularly sharp across the back line, so all that weighs in. There's no one quick fix and obviously I accept that we are going to look like we are vulnerable over the top of a high back line. But that's the same for anyone who plays it in that way, so it's swallowing a little bit of that, I suppose."

On Sang Bin Jeong's performance...

"He [Sang Bin Jeong] was crucial in obviously how we sort of define the way in which we want to play the spaces that we want to make sure that we could exploit when the ball turned over and he did that really well. Obviously, I'm immensely pleased that he's starting to rack up the goals and that he's being decisive in front of the goal because he gets a load of chances. He could be, if he finds a level of ruthlessness, he could be, I'm sure, one of the most productive forwards in the league. So that was a nice step for him and I would also nod to the fact that he emptied out on the pitch. He ran, he was aggressive, he covered a lot of space and that's what the game needed from our wide players. So a good performance in a difficult set of circumstances."

On long goal kicks and if he was happy with the performance tonight...

"No, not at all. That was a big part of the game that we were really disappointed with because we fell into a rhythm that I thought we had gotten out of, and in a lot of cases, sort of lacking precision, poorly set up, leaving too much space in behind and sort of not executing the strategy that we had in mind and had set out. So, that probably, if there is anything to take from that, it would be that because it was an area of the game where I feel like it wasn't anything to do with the conditions. It was mostly to do with the set up and levels of concentration, so that's a disappointing part of the game."

On the central midfield's performance tonight...

"It was a certain type of game. The ceiling was pretty low, I would say as to how well they could play in the sense that we didn't have very much of the ball. We didn't use the ball well, so it was about second balls, being competitive in the middle. They had some good moments, but I don't think any of the players would come off the pitch today and say that they felt they played well. I don't think any of my staff would look at that and leave here pleased with the performance. Pleased with a point? Certainly, but it's again not the one that we want to carry forward in any way."


On the mood of the locker room after the draw against the Colorado Rapids...

"Definitely mixed feelings. Being up 3-1 and then giving up two goals is never a good thing. We had a couple of opportunities to get the win as well. But, I think with how the game is and the altitude and things like that, guys were dealing with a lot. Ultimately, we feel that way, and Eric [Ramsay] echoed the same things. If you would have told us before the game that we could get a point on the road here, which is a tough place to play, I think we'd take it. We're just going to take the positives and work on the negatives and go on from there to LA [LAFC]."

On how he felt Sang Bin Jeong was able to execute the Loons' game plan...

"We've always prided ourselves on being a good counter-attacking team. If you look at all three goals, they were more or less in transition. It's something we've done well all season and something we will continue to do well at. Sang [Bin Jeong] did a good job of taking those two chances that he got; great finishes, one with the left [foot] and one with the right. Hopefully he can continue to build on that, that's two weeks in a row from him. Hope it's just goal after goal from here from him."

On the challenges on holding the lead against the Rapids...

"When you're away from home and they [Colorado Rapids] have the crowd behind them and they're pushing and have the majority of possession, it's always going to be a grind-out game. It's one of those where if a couple of things don't happen, we leave with three points. If we prevent a little bit and [concede] less corners, I think we're talking about a different result here. Ultimately, I think the guys worked really hard and some things just didn't go well. It's one of those games where we'll take the positives from it and then move on from there into next week."

On his goal and it being awarded after a VAR check for the second time this season...

"I knew when I left after he [Joseph Rosales] shot the ball, so I knew there was no chance I was offside. You see the line [judge] that she's unsure about it and I think the referee more or less influenced the flag being up and then left it to VAR. I knew once they saw it, it would be a goal. That waiting game which a little bit takes away the from the joy of scoring, but ultimately, it's always great to get a goal."

On the elemental challenges that playing in Colorado provides...

"It's a lot harder to breathe. Things that you've been doing all season all of the sudden seem a lot harder. Concentration is a little bit affected, there's a bunch of things. For them [Colorado Rapids], this is where they play, this is where they train, so they are more used to it than we are. For it being as difficult as it is to come play here, whether it's the altitude or the way they play or the great fans they have, I think we did a pretty good job of dealing with the circumstances we had."

On facing LAFC and if there is any extra emphasis facing them on the road...

"You always want to face the great teams. LA [LAFC], like you said, is a marquee team with a lot of really good players and I think we're going to have a game plan going in there. We'll have a couple days to work on that and watch some tape and take some things from this game to work on, then look at the first game we played against them, and hopefully we can put on a great game plan going into that game."

On any possible issues with not winning aerial duels tonight...

"I'll put my hand up first. There were a lot that I think I could have done a lot better on. With the flight of the ball and things like that, it's fairly difficult to read that. And, dealing with two defenders who were basically two-on-one with me, it's difficult to win one of those. I think me and Dayne [St. Clair] had a conversation and I think we'll be better for it moving forward. Not just the aerial duels, but there were a lot of things that we saw that we could have done a lot better in. It's kind of a steppingstone, a learning tool moving forward."

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