Minnesota United advance to round of 16 in U.S. Open Cup

Prior to game time, all eyes were on the weather watches and warnings to determine if the U.S. Open Cup round of 32 matchup between your Loons and Colorado Rapids would even be taking place. In spite of the dark clouds hanging above the pitch, the game got underway, as planned.

Just eight minutes in, Franco Fragapane put a beautiful cross between two Colorado defenders where Abu Danaldi stuck a foot out to perfectly chip a beauty into the net.

It didn’t take long for Colorado to respond to the Loons early strike, when in the 15th minute Colorado’s Gabriel Mesquida Sero was lying in wait to finish off a deflected free kick.

Ironically, it didn’t take long for inclement weather to respond to both teams’ efforts when play was stopped in the 18th minute due to lightning striking in close proximity to Allianz Field. The Loon faithful waited patiently for the game to begin once again…which it did…the following afternoon at 1 p.m.

With the severe weather persisting throughout the evening, Allianz Field looked more like Allianz Pond, leaving both teams relegated to their respective locker rooms until postponement was the only logical option to continue the game.

After a bit of back and forth between the squads in the earlier going of the second half, Coach Adrian Heath decided to make his move, three of them to be exact. In the 65th minute Heath brought on the Loons offensive firepower, subbing in Emanuel Reynoso, Robin Lod and Wil Trapp in hopes of breaking the 1-1 stalemate.

The Loons saw the fluidity of their passing and possession get the boost it needed. On the flip side, losing defender Brent Kallman to a second yellow card in the 83rd minute, leaving the Loons with only ten on the pitch, wasn’t exactly a comforting position to be in with the game still in the balance.

Thankfully, the boys got the Rey of sunshine they needed. After a couple of passing glances around the Colorado box, it was Emanuel Reynoso’s quick feet and superior ball control that left the defender grabbing at air and Reynoso booting an absolute laser past Colorado goalie Clint Irwin in the 87th minute. This would prove be the dagger needed to finish off Colorado.

The Loons 2-1 victory gets them a date in the next round of the U.S. Open Cup.

[EDIT: The U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 draw Thursday night matched Minnesota United with Omaha. That game’s time and date is TBD, but will likely be Wednesday, May 25th or on day either side]