Minnesota United\'s Adrian Heath Isn\'t Worried: His Loons Will Score Goals

Back home from Arizona on their way to Orlando for more training later this week, Minnesota United didn’t allow a goal during the final two friendly games against Phoenix Rising and Houston Dynamo last week in Tucson.

 

 

Those two scoreless draws are a sign of progress for a team that allowed 71 goals -- tied for second-most in the league -- last season.

It didn’t score a goal, either, but coach Adrian Heath isn’t concerned after an off-season in which United rebuilt what Heath calls the defensive “spine” of his team while keeping creators and scorers Darwin Quintero, Angelo Rodriguez and Romario Ibarra up front.

“I think that will be a work in progress,” Heath said. “We’ve mainly focused on working on getting a good shape behind the ball. Our goals-against column obviously has been a huge concern for everybody. We really haven’t focused too much on what we’re doing going forward yet. But I expect that to get better as we go.”

Heath noted Rodriguez, Ibarra and Quintero – all back for their first full MLS season – haven’t had an off-season break back home in South America as long as the MLS’ pause.

“This is probably the longest break they’ve ever had if you look at the way their seasons are run down there,” Heath said. “They’ll probably take a touch longer to get up to speed, but obviously next week down in Orlando we can expect our forward play to be better than it has been so far.”

The Loons train daily and will play games against MLS opponents New England, New York City F.C. and Orlando City while they prepare in Florida for their March 2 season opener at Vancouver.

Ibarra scored three goals in nine games after he was acquired in mid-season a year ago and Rodriguez scored four times in 11 games since he arrived in Minnesota.

“Every coach, you have to look at your team and ask, `Do we have enough goals in it. I think we do. That’s something that ultimately will play out when we play.”

More from training today:

- Newly acquired goalkeeper Vito Mannone trained with his new teammates Monday in Blaine for the first time while newcomer Romain Metanire finished up medical examinations that day. He will join in for the first time fully in Orlando. He arrived in Minnesota Friday after working out work-permit and other issues.

“We don’t expect any difficulties with him,” Heath said. “He’s fit and healthy.”

- Mannone arrived in Minnesota last week on loan from Reading in England’s Championship league presumably as the team’s starter.

When Heath was asked if he has talked with last season’s starter Bobby Shuttleworth about the matter, he said, “Obviously, Bobby has been aware over the course of the offseason that we’ve been looking for a goalkeeper. The fact that we had two (on roster), that was always going to be the case. Goalkeeper is like any other position, you can’t go into a season with one guy. That’s impossible. When you bring somebody in with Vito’s experience and what he’s done in the game, then obviously there’s going to be a competition.”

- Midfielder Kevin Molino worked on his fitness while his teammates trained Monday. He is coming back from ACL surgery last season and spent time in Florida last month while his teammates trained in Blaine while he rehabilitated his other knee.

- Heath said he’s “hopeful” that young forward Abu Danladi will “join us in some shape in Orlando.” He has not yet joined in training this preseason.

- Heath worked with a three-man midfield in Arizona comprised of newcomers Ozzie Alonso and Jan Gregus with Rasmus Schuller. “We might change it around in Orlando a wee bit,” Heath said. “Rasmus has come in and done well. We think with Jan and Ozzie we have a little tandem there that is good as most any in the league. So that should be a strength for us this year.”

- Six of United's 34 games this coming season will be carried nationally and FSN will carry 28, including the March 2 opener in Vancouver. ESPN2 will carry the April 13 home opener, which, of course, is also the debut of new Allianz Field. The broadcast team of play-by-play Callum Williams, analyst Kyndra de St. Aubin and sideline reporter Jamie Watson is back for another season for FSN. 

Here it is:

2019 Minnesota United Broadcast Schedule

Date                      Opponent                                Time (CT)     Television       Radio

SAT 3/2                 @ Vancouver Whitecaps           5:00 p.m.         FSN          SKOR North

SAT 3/9                 @ San Jose Earthquakes          7:00 p.m.        FSN+        SKOR North

SAT 3/16               @ LA Galaxy                              9:30 p.m.        FSN+        SKOR North

SAT 3/30               @ New England Revolution       1:00 p.m.        FSN+        SKOR North

SAT 4/6                 @ New York Red Bulls               6:00 p.m.        FSN+        SKOR North

SAT 4/13                NYCFC                                     4:00 p.m.         ESPN2     SKOR North

FRI 4/19                @ Toronto FC                            7:00 p.m.         FSN+        SKOR North

WED 4/24              LA Galaxy                                 7:00 p.m.         FSN+        SKOR North

SUN 4/28               DC United                                12:30 p.m.        FS1           SKOR North

SAT 5/4                  Seattle Sounders                     7:00 p.m.          FSN          SKOR North

SAT 5/11                @ Chicago Fire                        7:00 p.m.          FSN          SKOR North

SAT 5/18                Columbus Crew                       7:00 p.m.          FSN+        SKOR North

SAT 5/25                Houston Dynamo                     7:00 p.m.          FSN+        SKOR North

WED 5/29              @ Atlanta United                      6:00 p.m.          FSN          SKOR North

SUN 6/2                 Philadelphia Union                   3:00 p.m.          FSN+       SKOR North

SAT 6/8                  @ Colorado Rapids                 8:00 p.m.          FSN          SKOR North

SAT 6/29                 FC Cincinnati                          3:00 p.m.          ESPN       SKOR North

WED 7/3                 San Jose Earthquakes            7:00 p.m.          FSN+       SKOR North

SAT 7/6                   @ Montreal Impact                 6:30 p.m.          FSN          SKOR North

SAT 7/13                 FC Dallas                                7:00 p.m.          FSN+       SKOR North

SAT 7/20                @ Real Salt Lake                    9:00 p.m.          FSN+        SKOR North

SAT 7/27                Vancouver Whitecaps             7:00 p.m.          FSN+        SKOR North

SUN 8/4                 Portland Timbers                     3:00 p.m.          ESPN       SKOR North

SAT 8/10                @ FC Dallas                            7:00 p.m.         FSN+        SKOR North

WED 8/14              Colorado Rapids                     7:00 p.m.          FSN          SKOR North

SAT 8/17                Orlando SC                             7:00 p.m.          FSN+       SKOR North

THU 8/22               @ Sporting Kansas City          8:30 p.m.          ESPN      SKOR North

SUN 9/1                 @ LAFC                                  9:30 p.m.          FSN         SKOR North

WED 9/11               @ Houston Dynamo               7:30 p.m.          FSN+       SKOR North

SUN 9/15               Real Salt Lake                        4:30 p.m.           FSN        SKOR North

SUN 9/22               @ Portland Timbers               3:00 p.m.           ESPN      SKOR North

WED 9/25               Sporting Kansas City             7:00 p.m.           FSN+      SKOR North

SUN 9/29                LAFC                                     6:30 p.m.           FSN        SKOR North

SUN 10/6               @ Seattle Sounders               3:00 p.m.           FSN        SKOR North

 

Schedule Subject to Change

All Times Central

+ airs on FOX Sports North PLUS

All Games Simulcast on FOX Sports Wisconsin

Source : http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-united-s-adrian-heath-isn-t-worried-his-loons-will-score-goals/505681982/

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