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 Minnesota United FC

Minnesota United Takes a Point in 2-2 Draw Against the la Galaxy

May 16, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Minnesota United FC News Release


SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota United salvaged a point against the LA Galaxy after Kervin Arriaga equalized the game in the 80th minute, ending the game in a 2-2 draw. The Loons return to Allianz Field on Saturday, May 18 to face the Portland Timbers.

6'- Minnesota United opened the match with the first dangerous shot on goal, after Robin Lod ran onto a ball on the left flank. Lod fired a long shot that was saved by LA Galaxy goalkeeper John McCarthy.

16' - Tani Oluwaseyi drew a foul a few yards outside of the 18-yard box for a free kick. Teammate Joseph Rosales was on the ball for the set pieces, where he fired a shot toward the near post but was saved by McCarthy.

30' - MNUFC scored the first goal of the match after Minnesota was granted a corner. Rosales' service bounced off Lod near the 18-yard box where Bongokuhle Hlongwane settled the ball from the air and struck it into the goal after letting it bounce one time. McCarthy grabbed the ball and played it up the pitch, believing it didn't cross the line. On the next dead ball, VAR stopped play and called Bongi's goal in, putting Minnesota in the lead by one goal.

46' - The Loons came into the second half with an early goal scoring opportunity after Taylor took space up the right side of the pitch into the final third. Taylor crossed it to Oluwaseyi just outside the 6-yard box where he tried to slip it into the goal with his heel but missed the cross.

61' - LA Galaxy leveled the score after midfielder Riqui Puig slotted the ball to Dejan Joveljic inside the Loons 6-yard box where Joveljic tapped the ball into the left corner past Dayne St. Clair.

67' - Galaxy took a 2-1 lead after Puig took space up the middle of the pitch, laying it off to Diego Fagúndez. Fagúndez barely inside the 18-yard box fired a shot off toward the left corner, finding the back of the net.

80' - Minnesota equalized the score, 2-2, after Rosales found the back post off a corner kick, connecting with Kervin Arriaga for a header goal.

83' - St. Clair made a crucial save after space was left open for Joveljic to take space up the pitch. Michael Boxall pressured Joveljic from behind forcing him to take a shot just inside the 18-yard box where he aimed straight at St. Clair.

GOAL SUMMARY

1-0 MIN - Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Robin Lod, Joseph Rosales) - 30'

1-1 LA - Dejan Joveljic (Riqui Puig) - 61'

1-2 LA - Diego Fagúndez (Riqui Puig) - 67'

2-2 MIN - Kervin Arriaga (Joseph Rosales) - 80'

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY

MIN - Tani Oluwaseyi (caution) - 45'

MIN - Joseph Rosales (caution) - 58'

LA - Diego Fagúndez (caution) - 90'+6'

NOTABLE STATS.

3 - Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored his third goal of the season and first in six games. His last goal came in the 2-0 win against LAFC.

7 - Robin Lod recorded his seventh assist of the season. He has also made his fifth goal contribution across five home games (1 goal, 4 assist)

2 - Kervin Arriaga scored his second goal of the season and second in back-to-back games.

4 - Joseph Rosales has contributed to goals in the last three games with three assists.

11 - Minnesota United has scored in its last six games, scoring 11 goals in that run.

4 - Minnesota United is undefeated in its last four games (3 wins, 1 draw).

ATTENDANCE: 18,723

BELL BANK MAN OF THE MATCH: Kervin Arriaga

LINEUPS:

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

Bench: GK Clint Irwin; D Devin Padelford, Zarek Valentin, Victor Eriksson, Carlos Harvey; M Alejandro Bran, Franco Fragapane, Caden Clark; F Teemu Pukki

LA Galaxy XI: GK John McCarthy; D Miki Yamane, Maya Yoshida ©, John Nelson, Martin Caceres; M Gaston Brugman, Mark Delgado, Riqui Puig; F Gabriel Pec, Miguel Berry, Joseph Paintsil

Bench: GK Novak Micovic; D Julian Aude, Eriq Zavaleta, Mauricio Cuevas, Jalen Neal; M Diego Fagundez, Edwin Cerrillo, Daniel Aguirre; F Dejan Joveljic

UP NEXT:

MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. PORTLAND TIMBERS

Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota

05.18.2024 | MLS 2024 Regular Season | Matchday 15

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

MINNESOTA UNITED POST GAME QUOTE SHEET

HEAD COACH ERIC RAMSAY

On his overall thoughts on the match...

"I'm really frustrated because it's a game we felt we had complete control over at halftime. Obviously the message to the players at that point is if you can replicate that play with the same level of control, intensity, and discipline that we did in the first half. There's absolutely no way we're not winning that game. I just felt we have taken our foot off their neck in a sense, in the second half. We've let the game become too open and all be it, it's got that typical feel at the end of a game at the Allianz [Field] where it's exciting, it's good to watch, you feel like we're either winning or losing it's definitely not heading for a draw. That's not how we want to finish games, like that. Where we've done more than enough in terms of how we controlled the balance of play and how we've restricted their players. We're frustrated but I will say, the first half was a really good performance. That's the most complete performance that we've had since I've been here. Definitely both in and out of possession, really strong and that's no mean feat against a really good team. We're really pleased that we've taken a really big step there, I'm pleased we have not lost the game, I'm pleased we've got a point but the overriding feeling in the dressing room and amongst the staff is frustration. That in itself is a good stepping stone in certain senses."

On how much he is getting out of Kervin Arriaga...

"He's [Kervin Arriaga] done really well. I've said it repeatedly, he's got a lot of qualities. He's got the qualities on the ball of a midfield player and the athletic qualities of a center-back which is a really good set of traits for us to work with. We'll try and use him relatively flexibly but he's certainly been one of the stronger performers over the course of this little run that we're on at the moment. He gives us an awful lot. I'm really pleased we've managed to get him going and playing with some real consistency."

What he thinks the team did well during the first half...

"Zero shots, zero set plays, zero expected goals for the opposition which in itself tells a story. We defended really well. Obviously, they [LA Galaxy] are a team that uses a set of four front players to really good effect if you give them space and we didn't give them any space. As I've talked about repeatedly, that is a platform for a good performance for us. As much as we really want to move to being a team that can be dominant with the ball, that's us that first half. We're really good out of possession, we use the ball well when we've got it, we're really aggressive in how we use the ball, we created a lot of good quality chances but the basis of good performances against teams [LA Galaxy] like that are making sure you give them no space and manage to stay relatively high up the pitch, I thought that was the most arguably pleasing thing."

On how LA Galaxy's substitutions in the second half changed the team from his perspective...

"It was inevitable to an extent that there was always going to be a momentum swing, it's the nature of the league, it's the nature of the matchup of us and them. It's very, very difficult to have 90 minutes of what we had for 45 minutes. I accepted that, but we were too loose in the second half. We became too ill-disciplined, we gave up three chances that ordinarily we wouldn't give away. That's the frustrating thing from my perspective. They've [LA Galaxy] got a good depth across those front players. As they made changes they've got very good players coming in to replace very good players leaving the pitch. Of course, that's difficult for us to deal with over the course of 90 minutes but we should have done, frankly, we should have done and that's what's frustrating."

On how he would describe Riqui Puig...

"That's the thing I said prior to this, he's [Riqui Puig] very difficult. It's very difficult to predict where he's going to pop up, I assume he's given the liberty to read the game as he sees it and you can see him receiving the ball from the central defenders and you can see him taking the ball off the number nine in the same move. It's really difficult to say, in a concrete way, how you are going to deal with him. As a principle, you are not going to give space away and the second you do give space away, then obviously they're going to cause you huge problems. In order for us to be really dominant across the whole game, we needed to be very disciplined for longer than we were, which is frustrating. I'll maintain that that is, in general, a step forward. I'm sure when I watch it back I'll feel an overriding sense of positivity rather than negatively. Obviously now, that's not quite the case."

On the opportunities you were able to capitalize on...

"We're not a team that's obsessed with possession nor having the ball for the sake of having the ball. We want to be a team that uses the ball aggressively, that plays forward relatively quickly without sacrificing too much control. I think that was probably something you've seen in the second half, we play forward very quickly without being connected enough. Therefore, every time the ball turns over, you're not there to kill the spaces you want to kill. That's something we're always trying to strike that balance between being very purposeful with how we use the ball but not being so aggressive with it that we end up not being connected as a team. That was a problem in the second half, first half and periods of the second half we were very good on the switch of play. As we switch play, the game opens up in the middle, we can find those spaces well. There is a lot of good stuff to take in that sense, if we could have balanced that with slightly more control, I'm sure we would have won the game."

On how he plans to regroup the team after the draw...

"I'll be honest with the team at the end of the game and they will be honest with themselves. They will leave with greater sense of negativity than positivity, in spite of everything that went with our game but then I'm sure by tomorrow we will find a way to be constructive about that and it's up to us to make sure this is a good point by putting in a good performance here on Saturday. Good performances typically will equal good results for us here. If we can manage that and approach that with a real sense of energy and positivity, which will tough in three days times but we got a good squad and we got players in good shape, 17-18 [players] all of whom got minutes in their legs, so I won't be afraid to make changes and sure anyone who comes into the team will bring energy and positivity."

On scoring (twice) from corner kicks...

"There's a lot of detail put into it that I won't give away here. You can't look past the fact that we got good delivery on both sides and we got players in the box who have real desperation to score and that's the basis of a team that is going to be good from set plays. We of course work on it and approach in a very purposeful way but there is momentum in that sense and we'll be a team that's a real threat across not just corners but on throw-ins and wide free kicks. It's a really good trait to have as a team."

On DJ Taylor's crosses being accurate and improved from last year...

"Incredibly reliable, consistent player, [who] has taken really big steps forward. Not often is he found wanting defensively, incredibly energetic, really good runner and athlete, you're seeing us produce a good number of chances from his side. That's credit to him, it shows in how often he's been used, how rarely he finds himself as a sub. He's an incredibly valuable player for us, and obviously moving forward really well for us."

On not letting off the gas and reinforcing mentality...

"We need to strike that balance well between being very aggressive with how we use the ball and how we want to defend, and not sacrifice in control. That's broadly speaking, there's more detail to that and we will pick the instances apart in micro detail that lead to us losing control of this game, but in broad terms it's making sure we are sensible in how we balance those two sides of the game."

On managing Sang Bin Jeong...

"He's [Sang Bin Jeong] doing fine. Obviously we are conscious of managing a squad over the course of not just these two games but we want to go into June with players having minutes in their legs. I don't want to have to suddenly start drawing on guys who haven't been playing, and be very reliant on them over the course of two months. We got good momentum over the course of the last four games in terms of minutes across 15-17 players. Partly that is why we changed the three players in 60 minutes, partly it was due to the fact that you did feel we had a bit of a lull at that point. If we could change the front three players, perhaps that would give us a bit of energy and it did to an extent, but also that was probably the point at which the game became a little loose. So we are kind of seeing two sides of that coin. If you keep the big picture in mind, I think maybe where other teams aren't, we are coming into this very thick run of games, with a lot of players with good minutes in their legs and also some freshness across the players for us to approach Saturday with some real energy."

On how much time will be spent reviewing this game versus looking ahead to Saturday's game...

"I've said repeatedly we are not a team that is obsessed with the opposition. And largely we will work to the principles that we work towards every game irrespective of what the opposition do. And of course we work to the subtleties of the forwards as an example today, and how we worked in a very specific way to stop them. But, when it comes to Portland, you are going to see us do roughly the same things. Every game demands that you try to restrict the opposition's space, every game demands - from our perspective - that we use the ball well purposefully and aggressively and we bring our attention to the nuance around how Portland [Timbers] play, but it certainly won't affect the way we play in great detail."

MIDFIELDER KERVIN ARRIAGA

On being able to equalize the score...

"I'm happy, and I thank God for the opportunity to have scored. It was not the result that we wanted but regardless, we summed up one point and that's what's important."

On Joseph Rosales' service...

"Good, the truth is that during the course of the week we have spoken on where to shoot, and according to him I owe him $100, since it's $50 for every goal."

On it being special that it is Catracho to Catracho...

"Yes, it's the unity [between us]. From the moment I got to the club, I was welcomed well. He [Joseph Rosales] is the one who taught me the circumstances of the club. We have formed a beautiful alliance beyond us both being Hondurans but as teammates."

On what the team did well in the first half from the other team's attack...

"Our coach [Eric Ramsay] told us that we had done an excellent job in the first half - closing the passing lines for them. The second half is where some errors were made that cost us both of their goals and had us rowing against the current, but we will review the videos in the next few days, and try to improve on those mistakes."

On his thoughts of the defense conceding two goals...

"It's a merit on them [LA Galaxy] and errors from us. If they score a goal on us, it's because they did things well and it's the errors that we commit. It's things that we need to improve on and can do better. We're going to look back and see what we did wrong and try to minimize that in every game."

On issues that come when MNUFC takes the lead...

"I don't know, it's part of the game. We relaxed a bit thinking we had won the game already but the game lasts 90 minutes. It's errors that we are committing and things we need to improve on because despite those errors the team has the attitude to see the game out and not lose them."

On playing next to [Michael] Boxall and DJ Taylor...

"With Boxy [Michael Boxall] I try to learn the best from him. He is a great player and a great captain. With DJ [Taylor] the communication is always there. I don't speak English but I understand the basics that are being yelled at me by my teammates on the field. It was the first thing that I learned when I arrived because it was what I needed to do to have good communication with them on the field."

On his thoughts of Joseph Rosales' hair...

"I think he's ugly and with that hair even more ugly."

FORWARD BONGOKUHLE HLONGWANE

On if he feels more comfortable playing on the right side of the pitch compared to the left...

"Yeah, I feel comfortable there. I've been playing there this week. They [coaching staff] had been telling me while preparing for the game that I was the [right] wing. I had a good week preparing for this game."

On what it meant to get back on the score sheet...

"It meant a lot to me because in training I've been doing well. So, in my mind I was [thinking about] if I can play [the game tonight] like I was in training. Everything was positive for me to score to help the team to go forward."

On whether he knew his goal was across the line or not...

"I saw it go in, but the center ref was late because he couldn't see if it was a goal or not. But, I can see from the VAR that the ball went in."

On if there were feelings of a missed opportunity tonight against the LA Galaxy...

"The way we played [in the] first half and the second half, we created more chances in the first half then the second half. We were able to create the whole game. We should have won the game by maybe four or five [goals], I guess. So, he [Eric Ramsay] was telling the truth. We have to look forward to the next one."

On if he feels the team needs to tighten up when holding a lead...

"Yeah, sometimes we have to kill the game so that we do not get more comfortable. Today we failed to kill the game, so we ended up getting one point instead of three."

On if he felt the LA Galaxy was one of the best teams Minnesota has faced this season...

"I wouldn't say so. They are a good team, but today we showed them that we are [at] home and we are able to face anyone who is coming here. We played well and it didn't feel like it was a big team to me. I don't know about other people, but for me, because we played well in the first half and second half. But, we weren't able to get the points or the result that we wanted."

On why more shots were not put on target tonight...

"I wasn't counting, but we can do better on this one, because out of 23 shots, seven were on target. I don't know, we can do better on that one."

On the quality of corner kick services from Joseph Rosales...

"For us, it meant a lot because he's [Joseph Rosales] been sending in a good ball in training because we know they've given up maybe 10 goals on set plays. Today, we were able to score on the set piece."


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