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 Minnesota United FC

Minnesota United Dominates in 3-0 Win at Charlotte FC

April 21, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Minnesota United FC News Release

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Three goals was the charm for Minnesota United on Sunday evening, capturing a dominant 3-0 victory over Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium.

3' - Minnesota United was able to get a chance in the early minutes of the game after midfielder Robin Lod, who was open on the right side, crossed a shot towards Tani Oluwaseyi near the penalty kick spot, but his shot was unable to slip past Charlotte's goalkeeper.

4' - Charlotte FC had their first opportunity on goal after a counter-attack on their defensive half from a Minnesota United goal kick. Liel Abada took space up the pitch, passing it off to Ashley Westwood who one-touched to Kerwin Vargas on the left flank. Vargas fired a shot off his left foot that went high over the crossbar.

24' - Dayne St. Clair made a crucial save to keep the score 0-0. St. Clair dove to the left and got his hand to the ball to save a header from Charlotte FC defender Bill Tuiloma.

28' - Franco Fragapane, on the right side of the pitch, crossed the ball to Wil Trapp right inside the D where he one-touched it in for a shot that missed just wide.

31' - Tani Oluwaseyi scored the first goal of the match after Robin Lod played a long ball over the top to the opposite side of the pitch. The service from Lod found Oluwaseyi just above the 18-yard line after he made a diagonal run to the right side of the pitch. The ball bounced one time before he striked the ball in the air and found the back of the net.

45'+2' - Just before the first half ended, St. Clair, off his line, saved a shot that was deflected off Devin Padelford to keep Minnesota United in the lead going into the second half.

48' - Minnesota United scored their second goal just three minutes into the second half. Kervin Arriaga found Joseph Rosales after he played a long ball over the top. Rosales took the ball inside while Franco Fragapane made an overlapping run on the left side. Rosales laid it off to Fragapane where he crossed it to Lod near the PK. Lod took a one touch shot on goal that went past Charlotte goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina.

53' - Lod served the ball into the box off a corner kick where Hassani Dotson, free from his man, headed the ball into goal.

54' - Oluwaseyi nearly scored his second goal of the match after Rosales crossed the ball into the box. Oluwaseyi connected with the cross, taking a one-touch shot that missed just wide of the right post.

68' - Minnesota United in the attacking third had yet another chance on goal after Teemu Pukki had the ball on the left side of the pitch, he played it to Bongokuhle Hlongwane for a one-two into the six for a close shot on goal that was saved by a deflection off Kahlina's hand back into play for a clearance out.


1-0 MIN - Tani Oluwaseyi (Robin Lod) - 31'

2-0 MIN - Robin Lod (Joseph Rosales, Franco Fragapane) - 48'

3-0 MIN - Hassani Dotson (Robin Lod) - 53'


CLT - Nikola Petkovic (caution), 83'

MIN - Alejandro Bran (caution), 90' +3'


100 - Veteran midfielder Robin Lod made his 100th Major League Soccer regular-season appearance in today's game vs. Charlotte FC, while also recording his fifth assist of the season and fourth in three games.

1 - Forward Tani Oluwaseyi made his first MLS start, playing 60 minutes and scoring one goal.

5 - Minnesota United made five starting lineup changes from its last MLS game, the most from one game to another this season.

3 - Tani Oluwaseyi scored his third goal of the season.



Minnesota United XI: GK Dayne St. Clair; D Joseph Rosales Devin Padelford, Michael Boxall ©, DJ Taylor; M Wil Trapp, Kervin Arriaga, Hassani Dotson; F Franco Fragapane, Tani Oluwaseyi, Robin Lod

Bench: GK Clint Irwin; D Zarek Valentin Miguel Tapias, Victor Eriksson; M Alejandro Bran, Caden Clark, Moses Nyeman; F Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Teemu Pukki

Charlotte FC XI: GK Kristijan Kahlina; D Jere Uronen, Andrew Privett, Bill Tuiloma, Jaylin Lindsey; M Djibril Diani, Ashley Westwood ©, Brecht Dejaegere; F Kerwin Vargas, Enzo Copetti, Liel Abada

Bench: GK David Bingham; D Adilson Malanda, João Pedro, ;M Brandt Bronico, Brecht Dejaegere, Nikola Petkovic, Júnior Urso, Nick Scardina ; F Patrick Agyemang, Luri Tavares



Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota

04.27.2024 | MLS 2024 Regular Season | Match 9

7:30 p.m. CT (MLS Season Pass/1500 ESPN)



On the changes to the starting XI...

"We wanted to do something different than what we've done up until this point, knowing that we're coming to a place that is very difficult to come, that not many teams have been successful in achieving three points here. We didn't want to sort of sleepwalk into doing in what everyone does, we wanted to have a look at a different shape and look at how we could use some personnel that have been impactful from the bench so far from the start to try and give us more of a spark in the opening stages of games is obviously not going to escape anyone's attention that's been a problem of ours in the last couple of games. I think in hindsight the changes were justified to look at a different shape, all be it within the same way of playing, the same set of principles that we've utilized up until this point. I think it was a sensible way to approach the game and obviously we've done what we've done in all the games so far which is change again on an hour which we've demonstrated that we've got a squad that we can use and a good level across a good number of players so it reflects really well on the team as a whole."

On how he wants the team to look like in terms of being direct...

"I still think we can probably find having a nice amount in between of having real control of the game with the ball and attacking with a directness and playing with a really good rhythm and being a team that wants to play in the opposition's half, that wants to play forward and cause problems. Obviously what you've seen today is a team that played forward fairly quickly on most occasions, obviously the general control of the game comes down, the amount of the ball that you have comes down but I'd much rather be a team that is proactive, dynamic, forward-looking, as opposed to a team that can lull itself into boredom through possession. I think we're toward the end of the spectrum that I'd like to be at but I still think for us it will be an ongoing conversation the whole season on how we can find that nice balance between making sure we've got rhythm, but we're doing so in a controlled way that seems always connected. We're not playing forward so quickly that when it turns over that we've not got enough bodies around the ball to get it back. It's those conversations that we have as a staff and with the players."

On what you felt Tani Oluwaseyi did in testing Charlotte FC's back line...

"He does what he does really well, Tani [Oluwaseyi]. Which is play on the back line, really stretch the opposition, really looking behind. Everytime we steal the ball, he's a presence, he's more of a reference point number nine than Teemu [Pukki],who is more of a link. [He has] really intelligent movement but is more inclined to play off the back line as opposed to on the back line which of course is a real quality in itself. We've just got to recognize that we've got two forwards with different sets of qualities, we've got to know when to use each of them well and how each of them fit into the wider plan."

On how you would describe Joseph Rosales' role in the game...

"He pretty much ended up defending as if he was a winger. I think that fits his qualities really well,[ he's] very athletic, very dynamic; technically has a really good level. He's a player that offers a lot in a load of different ways, we've got to make sure to find a system in a way of using him that gets the best of his qualities. I was really pleased for him, he sort of got through the game unscathed, no drama, available for the upcoming game and put in a performance that was of a really high level and obviously when he plays the dynamic on that side changes."

On the corner kick goal...

"It was really well executed, obviously [the] delivery was very good. What often goes unnoticed in a situation like that is the work around the player that ends up getting free to score so Hassani [Dotson] obviously played his part really really well but I'm sure there will be a couple others Devin [Padelford] included that will have a strong argument in creating space that he eventually arrived in. I think it was a really well executed team goal."

On playing on artificial turf factoring in to not starting Teemu Pukki...

"It was not so much to do with the turf. It's a good turf pitch here, and I think in many cases you would rather play on a good turf pitch than a bad grass pitch and today falls into that category. It wasn't so hot, there was enough moisture in the air and there had been enough rain beforehand for the pitch to play well. It wasn't a huge factor in deciding to play Tani [Oluwaseyi] over Teemu [Pukki], other than the obvious that it [artificial turf] does tend to sap more energy from a player. If it came in to the decision it was only in a minor way."

On how the learning experience after the Philadelphia game played into tonight...

"I would look back at the majority of the first three or four games and say I would've taken a lesson from each of them in how to use our players, who suits what conditions, who suits certain systems well, who connects with who well and certainly that game [Philadelphia away] so far has been the biggest learning curve so far in terms of us not being nearly as ready as we should've been to go and meet the challenge that that game posed. We probably got lulled into thinking that we could roll from LAFC at home to Philadelphia away with a two week international break in between without much interruption to our rhythm. Which obviously in hindsight was not the case at all. I will definitely take something from that in my career moving forward. That pragmatism and flexibility in trying to discard the relevance of the performance prior if the conditions in the game you are about to play don't resemble the ones of the game previously. It's a big learning curve and me having learned my lesson has paid dividends today."

On Robin Lod's versatility...

"He's [Robin Lod] brilliant. So in a situation like this where we want to make a slight change to the shape and accommodate the fact that Sang Bin [Jeong] is now unavailable. The fact that you've got a player in Robin that is very intelligent, very athletic, very good on the ball, very flexible, good with both feet, it means that you've got options on the table. He's been an incredibly consistent performer this year and I enjoy working with him. I think he'll be pivotal to any success that we have going forward."

On Kervin Arriaga's game and how much the team will use three center backs in the future...

"I think it suits him [Kervin Arriaga] very well. From the bits I've seen of Kervin so far, when he does play in the middle of midfield, he does tend to try and find the pockets outside the opposition's shape anyway. I don't think the fact that he's playing in a line of three really changes too much when we have the ball as to how he likes to operate and the spaces that he has tendencies to pick up and where he uses the ball from. There were a couple of good examples today of how he's used the ball really well from deep. I think that given the fact that he's barely played in the back line in his career, I think he's done really well. There were some really big moments both with the ball and defensively. He's someone who's got a lot of qualities, and it's up to us to find a way to get the best out of him and make sure the system that we use compliments what he's got. We were fortunate today that that was the case."

On how it felt personally to see the tactical changes contribute to a win...

"I thought far sooner it be the case than not. But, even going into the game, prior to seeing it panned out, I think as long as I felt there was a really strong justification for it, that it had been really well thought out, that it had trained well, that it had been discussed amongst the staff and then within and through the players. Then, I was at peace with the outcome either way. It's nice that is panned out as it has, but from a rational, logical approach or perspective, all you can do is construct the game plan as you see it, communicate to the players as best as you can, get their buy-in and then what happens beyond that is fate to some extent. So, yes, I'm pleased, but also I'm pretty constructive about the whole thing."

On when the changes to the lineups started being discussed before the game...

"I've talked with you guys over the course of my time here so far about the fact that we're a team that is going to be reliant on a set of principles as opposed to real specifics and [being] tied to one shape. In the games so far, you've seen us defending one way, attacking another. Today, we looked more similar with and without the ball than we have done in previous games. But, I think this will be a hallmark of the team going forward - it can shift and flex between shapes from game to game and within games, and we'll try and be pragmatic in that sense. We're always preaching to the players and we ourselves are working within a set of principles that is really well defined. So, sort of irrespective of the shape, the language that we use to communicate and coach doesn't change."


On this win being a version of the team you'd like to see moving forward...

"The biggest thing for us is to come out with more energy in the first half. That's been a theme for us the last couple games. So that was the main focal point. We looked at a lot of film from [Charlotte] and we saw how direct they were and we found some ways that we could capitalize [on that], and you saw that with some of the big balls from Kervin [Arriaga] to Joseph [Rosales]."

On the principles of the team and how they played out tonight...

"It was about keeping a compact shape and closing out the entry balls in our shape through the middle. That's a big thing that we are trying to get on the same page. We played a slightly different formation today and I am really pleased with how the group handled that and I felt we were well prepared for our opponents today."

On your goal...

"We have been practicing set pieces and I noticed on one of the other corner kicks - because they play a zone - so I knew normally there would be one or two guys free. So i started on the back post trying to hide and I just told Devin [Padelford] to take a few steps to the right because I saw there was a little window for me to run through and I tried to make it to my spot and the ball found and me and it went in the back of the net."

On Tani Oluwaseyi living up to his nickname "Mr. Big Toe"...

"He [Tani Oluwaseyi] could have had a big toe goal... maybe, but he had a nice goal today. I have seen him do [that] a couple of times. That's my roommate on away trips and I am really pleased he has taken the most of his opportunity."

On how you take this result and bring it home...

'The biggest thing is starting the game with more energy. At home it's a little bit different, because you can see if the away team is up and they had a good first half that generally they will sit back a little bit in the second half. At home we need to be on the front foot from the start of the game and make our presence known and help get our fans involved and keep putting pressure [on the opponents] from the start."

On if the road game in Philadelphia has impacted the way the group plays and prepares...

"Eric's [Ramsay] first game in charge was LAFC and if you look at that compared to the Philadelphia game it was two completely different performances from us. So you have to look at it and take a little bit of the good and the bad and that's where you will see the baseline. That [game] was kind of where you can find Eric fixing some of our faults. The stuff that we were lacking. That has been a point of emphasis for us, being a little bit sharper, being decisive and not taking any moment for granted and pushing ourselves in training and you saw that today."

On playing on artificial turf...

"Both teams have to play on it. We are professionals and we have jobs and we know what we have to do. Definitely a lot different playing on grass compared to playing on turf. But that is what it is. I grew up playing on turf and you never want to think about that more than the actual game itself because then you will start finding excuses."

On how Kervin Arriaga played today...

"He a pretty good job. He stepped into that role [as a centerback]. It was the first time I have seen him play there and I think he did a good job. He was energetic and positive and he gave us another weapon with his long switching passes. He has a composure to play because he obviously plays centrally normally so I thought he did a really good job."

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