United Ends Winless, Goalless 3-Game Trip w/ 1-0 Loss at SLC

Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (10) gets the ball past Minnesota United defender Kevin Venegas (22) and forward Abu Danladi (9) during an MLS soccer match in Sandy, Utah, Saturday, June 17, 2017. Photo: Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (10) gets the ball past Minnesota United defender Kevin Venegas (22) and forward Abu Danladi (9) during an MLS soccer match in Sandy, Utah, Saturday, June 17, 2017.

June 18, 2017 02:15 AM

It was a long night spent on the back foot for Minnesota United, as it finished off a three-match road trip against Real Salt Lake. Both sides were desperate for three points following tough midweek results. Despite a spirited defensive effort, led by goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, the Loons were unable to get past RSL, falling 1-0 on a late goal.

“Disappointing with a lot of aspects of our play,” said Minnesota Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I don’t think we moved the ball well enough. I don’t think we caused enough problems in their final third. I couldn’t fault the players for what they gave us, but it wasn’t good enough for this evening.”

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Much like the last few matches, Minnesota came storming out of the gate and applied a lot of pressure to the RSL goal. With defender Marc Burch and midfielder Johan Venegas out of action for tonight, other players had to step up for the Loons and create chances. Attacking players Christian Ramirez and Abu Danladi made runs at goalkeeper Nick Rimando, trying to force an error like the one that happened in the reverse fixture at TCF Bank Stadium. It would be the midfielders who had the majority of chances, with both Kevin Molino and Ibson getting multiple opportunities on goal, but unable to find the mark.

However, after the opening burst of energy, the home side was able to find its way into the match. Quick passing and transition play allowed RSL to find gaps in the Loons’ defense and create chances with plenty of men forward.

Standing in their way though was Bobby Shuttleworth, who put on a goalkeeping clinic at Rio Tinto Stadium. Quick reactions and strong hands from the New York native kept the Loons in the match while adding to his already impressive highlight reel.

After a scoreless first half, the Loons came out fast once again in the second. After nearly finding the back of the net multiple times in the opening minutes, the Loons once again had to hold off the hosts.

It was a spirited effort from RSL, as players lunged and dove to intercept passes and keep balls in play, which led to chances on counterattacks. Minnesota struggled to get the ball out of its own side for much of the second half due this unrelenting pressure by the home side.

Once again, it was up to Shuttleworth to keep the Loons’ hopes alive. Numerous breakaways were stuffed and quick shots brushed aside in hopes of preserving a clean sheet. Frustration began to set in for RSL, who couldn’t break the Minnesota goalkeeper. Especially, after a long blast from Luke Mulholland that looked destined for the top corner, only to be parried aside by the Loons goalkeeper.

Spurred on by their goalkeeper, the Loons fought tooth and nail to keep RSL off the board, despite not being able to create many chances of their own.

As the match waned and the final whistle drew near, Minnesota looked like it would escape with a point. But substitute, and leading RSL goalscorer, Yura Movsisyan had other plans. A corner kick in the dying minutes fell in the Minnesota penalty area and looked to deflect off the arm of a Minnesota player. Shouts for handball caused several players to stop as the ball bounced off Shuttleworth and straight towards Movsisyan. The Armenian international did not wait for the referee to make a decision, and poked the ball over the Minnesota goalkeeper to claim the lead.

There was a late surge from Minnesota, but it was unable to level the match as it suffered a 1-0 defeat to RSL.

“I don’t think there’s a guy in [this] dressing room that would tell you that that was a good enough performance from any of us,” said Shuttleworth following the match. “It’s a terrible goal to give away for me. We weren’t good enough in possession. Not dangerous enough going to goal. I don’t think you’re going to find one guy who will tell you that’s good enough.”

The Loons have to move on quickly, as they face the Portland Timbers at home in just four days’ time.

“We have to go again,” said Heath. “That’s the nature of the game. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ll look at the video, see what was good and what wasn’t so good and try to be better again on Wednesday.”

Minnesota United and the Portland Timbers kick off from TCF Bank Stadium on Wednesday, June 21 at 7:00 p.m. CT. Visit MNUFC.COM/tickets to find your seats today.

Lineups

Minnesota United FC Starting XI: GK Bobby Shuttleworth; D Jerome Thiesson, Brent Kallman, Francisco Calvo, Kevin Venegas; M Sam Cronin, Ibsen, Kevin Molino, Miguel Ibarra, Abu Danladi (Rasmus Schuller 79’); F Christian Ramirez

MIN Unused Subs: GK Patrick McLain; D Jermaine Taylor; M Collen Warner, Collin Martin

Real Salt Lake Starting XI: GK Nick Rimando; D Tony Beltran, Justin Glad, Aaron Maund, Danilo Acosta (Sebastian Saucedo 79’); M Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, Jefferson Savarino; F Brooks Lennon, Joao Plata (Chris Wingert 87’), Luis Silva (Yura Movsisyan 70’)

RSL Unused Subs: GK Matt Van Oekel; D David Horst; M Omar Holness, Ricardo Velazco

Match Events

Goals

84’ – Movsisyan – RSL

Discipline

21’ – Kallman (YC) – MIN

74’ – Beckerman (YC) – RSL

86’ – Ibson (YC) – MIN

MNUFC QUOTES

Minnesota United FC Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the goal conceded...

“Obviously Bobby [Shuttleworth] is really disappointed because he’s had a great time and every time we’ve asked him to come up with a save, he’s done it. Cruelly at the end, he makes a mistake and it’s the difference in the game. He had kept us in it with some really important saves at important times. When I look back at the 90 minutes, I don’t think we caused them too many problems. I can’t fault the effort but tonight we just weren’t good enough.”

On the team’s reaction from previous results...

“I can’t fault the players for trying this evening. I just don’t think our quality was good enough, that’s the problem. Apart from a couple of instances, Nick Rimando didn’t have much to do. I don’t think our impact players, people in the final third did enough this evening. But we go again on Wednesday because that’s the nature of it. We have to be better. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We need to dust ourselves down, look at the tape to see what was good, and try to get better.”

On Bobby Shuttleworth’s performance...

“He’s really disappointed. He just apologized to the rest of the guys because with the night that he’s had, he didn’t really deserve that. That’s the nature of being a goalkeeper, you make a mistake and it invariably ends up in the back of the net.”

Minnesota United FC GK Bobby Shuttleworth

On if they were looking for a stoppage on the goal...

“Guys were putting their hand up for a hand ball. To be honest with you, the ball just rolled out of my hands and straight to them. So full responsibility is on me, I have to hold on to that ball.”

On his performance...

“It’s tough to look back on it and think about the positive right now. Giving away a goal like that so late in the game, it’s hard to take the positives, but that’s the life of a goalkeeper. If you put in a good performance and do something like that it’s pretty gutting.”

On the defense as a whole...

“I don’t think there’s a guy in that dressing room that would tell you that was a good enough performance from anyone. That’s a terrible goal to give away by me. We weren’t good enough in possession. We weren’t dangerous enough going to goal. Like I said, I don’t think you’re going to find one guy in that locker room that is going to tell you that was good enough.”

On moving on to Portland...

“It’s a quick turnaround. Good for us that we don’t have too much time to think about it and we can get back home and rest up. We can try to look over this tape and see what we did poorly to fix that by Wednesday and put in a good performance.”

Courtesy: Minnesota United FC

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