Loons 0-3 for first time in MLS after 1-0 home loss to expansion Austin

Minnesota United came into their second home game of the season with several demons to exercise. First there was their season opening loss on the road to the Seattle Sounders and then there was their home opening loss to Real Salt Lake. Facing expansion side Austin FC, the Loons were hoping to make some adjustments and get their season on the right track. But finding themselves down after just 17 minutes, the home side could never bully their way into the game and fell once again at Allianz Field.

MNUFC came out with a slightly different look than the last game, with Ramon Abila healthy enough to start up top and Osvaldo Alonso joining Wil Trapp in the midfield pivot. Hassani Dotson got the nod once again at the left wing as he did against Seattle. Alonso’s presence was felt immediately as he kept the middle of the park organized and Dotson as well provided quality out wide and especially down the stretch.

But early on, Minnesota couldn’t grab hold of the game as Austin stayed organized and looked to slice open the Loons’ defense whenever they committed too many men up the pitch. In the 17th minute, midfielder Jared Stroud found himself with acres of space down the wing. He bombed forward and sent in a perfectly weighted cross that was just out of defender Romain Metanire’s reach but right on the foot of midfielder Diego Fagundez who finished it cleanly for a 1-0 lead.

Falling behind early took some of the wind out of the home side’s sails and while they did their best to manufacture opportunities from the wings, it was all for naught. The energy ticked up late in the second half as 17-year-old Patrick Weah — the club’s second homegrown signing — found his way onto the pitch in the 81st minute. He then very nearly scored with his first touch for MNUFC as fellow rookie Justin McMaster floated a short cross into the box and Weah dove in front of defender Jhohan Romana to send a hard shot right at goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

The moment seemed to energize the side, with Metanire sending in a beautiful low through ball to forward Foster Langsdorf minutes later that only went awry when Langsdorf’s first touch let him down. An excellent save from Dayne St. Clair on Jon Gallagher and a fortunate bounce on a shot from Rodney Redes that found the post kept the game within reach through stoppage time, but Minnesota could not find the breakthrough. The Loons now find themselves pointless through three games for the first time in their MLS history.

BELL BANK MAN OF THE MATCH: Midfielder Hassani Dotson

• 17′ | Stroud attacks down the right wing and his service into the box is just out of Metanire’s reach but on target for Fagundez. 1-0

Minnesota United: GK Dayne St. Clair; D Chase Gasper, Jukka Raitala, Michael Boxall, Romain Metanire; M Ozzie Alonso (c), Wil Trapp, Emanuel Reynoso, Ethan Finlay, Hassani Dotson; F Ramon Abila

Austin FC: GK Brad Stuver; D Jhohan Romana, Matt Besler, ┼Żan Kolmani?, Nick Lima; M Tomas Pochettino, Alex Ring (c), Diego Fagundez, Jared Stroud; F Danny Hoesen, Cecilio Dominguez

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park | Commerce City, Colorado
5.8.2021 | 7:00 p.m. CT

Courtesy: Minnesota United FC