Minnesota United FC vs. Austin FC Preview
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Head Coach Adrian Heath can't be thrilled to find his team winless after the first two weeks of the season, but he's also made clear that he views it as more a question of when than of if when it comes to the Loons pulling it together. A handful of massive mistakes in their own final third that opponents have capitalized on and a paucity of finishing in the other team's final third have led to a place at the bottom of the table, but Minnesota believes in what it has and knows there is more on the way in the form of forward and Designated Player Adrien Hunou. Hunou will join the team from Ligue 1's Stade Rennais before too long to provide a scoring punch. Against Austin FC, the task will be maintaining focus from the first to the final whistle while creating chances they can finish.
ADRIAN HEATH ON GIVING UP SIX GOALS IN TWO GAMES
"I don't think it's a defense, I don't think it's a collective, I think it's individual errors have cost us dearly and the people who've been involved with the errors know that. That's part of football. Our general play has been excellent in both games, I'm sure that anybody who's seen it, I'm sure the opposition would tell you that and I'm sure Josh [Wolff] and his staff will look at the game and think, 'They're probably a little bit better than they're record this season suggests,' but it is what it is. We've got to go out on the pitch and prove it and I'm confident we'll get a result this weekend."
JUAN AGUDELO ON SCORING STRUGGLES
"Yo pienso que han pasado muchas veces en las temporadas y los equipos no pueden empezar metiendo goles, pero después del primer gol, se abren todas las puertas. Y si teníamos más minutos en el último partido que jugamos, hubiéramos metido como dos o tres." "I've seen in several seasons where a team starts out not being able to score off the bat, but once they get that first goal, it opens the gates. If we had a few more minutes in that last game, I think we could have scored two or three more."
Austin FC had to deal with a curveball in just their second MLS game when they had to pull Tomás Pochettino from the starting XI at the last minute out of concern for his registration status. Good news for them: Their DP has been cleared to play this week. It should only improve the attack of an Austin team that displayed ruthless chops in taking apart the Colorado Rapids with three goals in 12 minutes in the second half last week. So far, the newest team in MLS has relied on pressing high and making goals out of turnovers and in transition - a place where MNUFC have struggled to defend to begin the season. As it so often does, it will likely come down to which team can score the first goal and then protect the lead.
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IS THIS YOUR KING: The Loons' rough night against Real Salt Lake last time out was ultimately overshadowed by the antics of RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa, who kicked the ball into the Wonderwall after the final whistle. Ochoa earned praise from several pundits for his actions in his second MLS start as they applauded his colorful personality and bemoaned the lack of good villains in MLS. The keeper earned a spot on the bench in the Team of the Week presented by Audi, presumably for his "vibes" because in the actual game he faced two on-target shots and let one in.
FIRST TOUCHES: Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff also spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons playing for the Chicago Fire alongside MNUFC Director of Player Personnel Amos Magee.
PLAYER AVAILABILITY REPORT:
I. Opara - undisclosed
N. Hansen - L thigh
B. Dibassy - L thigh
J. Hayes - R thigh
N. Kibunguchy - Concussion
R. Lod - Chest
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Major League Soccer Stories from April 30, 2021
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