Minnesota United FC hadn’t lost a game in 2020 when he first scored in Sunday night’s do-or-die game against the Colorado Rapids – and the Loons still haven’t.
Minnesota scored an early goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs game at Allianz Field, then sat back and went against Rapids’ chances of taking a 3-0 win that ended Colorado’s season.
“It’s not often that you lose a game 3-0 and you think you should have won,” said Rapids coach Robin Fraser. “This is a young team that is experiencing this experience for the first time. You have to be able to be solid which we were most of the night, but not as consistent as we needed. ”
The Loons used the Rapids’ youth against them, leaving Colorado behind. Emanuel Reynoso assisted on all three scores and Kevin Molino scored twice to take the Rapids.
A benign throw-in from the Rapids’ side of the field turned disastrous in the 22nd minute when careless defending allowed a ball to pass through. Molino won the loose ball over Reynoso, who dribbled to the top of the penalty area before being cleared off the ball. It went straight to Molino and he sent it to William Yarbrough. The piece originated on the left side of the field where Sam Vines would normally be. The Rapids Ironman started the game on the bench due to a hamstring injury. He retired late and Kellyn Acosta played left back for the first time in years.
“Vines was hurt, we were careful and didn’t want to play with him,” said Fraser. “Kellyn has done very well, his decision making was very good.”
Less than 10 minutes later, Reynoso tried to take advantage of the counterattack. A three-for-one rush for the Loons ended when Reynoso hit the post.
Just after the break, the Rapids caught fire. The Rapids got excellent scoring opportunities and were unable to score. Cole Bassett got a few chances in the space of minutes, including one where goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair was on the ground, but Bakaye Dibassy scraped it off the goalkeeper. There was a series that ended when Nico Benezet was dragged down into the penalty area, but no foul was called. The Rapids are the only team in MLS that hasn’t earned a penalty this year.
The printing without punctuation was costly. A foul pass from Jack Price was intercepted in midfield, which led to a 3-on-3 counter in the other direction. Reynoso hit a pass next to Robin Lod. The Finnish forward completed the rush by taking Yarbrough out of position to make Minnesota 2-0.
“There are times when we turned around too easily. We knew the pressure was coming, we just need to be individually better every now and then, ”said Price. “The second goal to give the ball away in midfield, it’s different from me and I should never do that, but I learn from it, I won’t do it again.”
A tired Rapids team couldn’t do much when Molino found a loose ball in the box in the 79th minute. Molino threw it over Yarbrough and gave the Loons their third goal. A good passing by Reynoso and Jan Gregus provided the insurance score.
“We are clearly proud of making it to the play-offs, but we are still very disappointed. We felt like we deserved more tonight, ”said Price. “Being more clinical and executive was the difference between them and us. They have a more experienced team. We will come back stronger and we will be the experienced team. ”
The Rapids had a fantastic end to their season with three wins in five games in 15 days. The chaotic 2020 has come to an end, but the future looks bright.
Colorado played one of the youngest teams in MLS this season, getting most of their production from the kids. The club’s goal is to become an annual playoff team, which is only possible if you make it to the postseason for the first time.
The Rapids seem to have found their leader as Robin Fraser is the most winning coach in club history in his first 25 games. There are off-season steps to be taken to help the young core, but ultimately, the future of the Rapids will be based on the development of their younger players.
What will happen
Minnesota United will play in Children’s Mercy Park on December 1 or December 2 against Western Conference’s top-class Sporting Kansas City, which won its first round against San Jose on Sunday in a wild game that ended in penalty kicks.