Minnesota United clinch playoff spot

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Minnesota United clinch playoff spot

Football Training Practice Exercises for Youth Soccer Players. Boys on Training with Soccer Balls on Pitch

Football Training Practice Exercises for Youth Soccer Players. Boys on Training with Soccer Balls on Pitch

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Football Training Practice Exercises for Youth Soccer Players. Boys on Training with Soccer Balls on Pitch

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Football Training Practice Exercises for Youth Soccer Players. Boys on Training with Soccer Balls on Pitch

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On September 25, our Minnesota Loons took on Sporting Kansas City in a Major League Soccer regular-season game. The loons have looked great this season, racking up a total of 52 points in 32 games, putting them in second place in the Western Conference, and clinching their spot for the playoffs. The Loons have been mostly unsuccessful in the last two seasons with their first season being their introduction to the league.

In both of their first two seasons, the Loons were able to get only 36 points by winning 11 of their 34 regular-season games. It’s safe to say the Loons were looking for more this season and have shown that hunger by putting up their 15th win of the season after their most recent game against Kansas City. The Loons have seemed to fix their goal-scoring problem by scoring over 20 more goals with 2 games still left to play in the regular season.

It was a thrilling game against Sporting KC that went down to the wire. Osvaldo Alonso (#6) stepped up in a big way by not only dominating the center of the field all game but also netting a goal in the later part of the second half (70’) off of a Loon’s corner to cancel out Sporting KC’s 7th-minute goal by Botond Barath. That wasn’t the only contribution by Alonso, he also assisted the go-ahead goal in the dying seconds of the game to Hassani Dotson whose clean first touch from Alonso’s pass took him across the box and led him to slot his 4th goal of the season past Sporting KC’s goalkeeper Tim Melina.

This win showed the Loons composure as pressure mounted from Kansas City after going down a goal early in the game and struggling to keep possession during the first half. These problems were in addition to the right defender Chase Gasper, who receiving a red card just after the go-ahead goal in the 90th minute. Vito Mannone was once again a standout player for the Loons; in net, he has kept 11 clean sheets this season and in the game made 7 massive saves that kept the Loons alive and secured their 3 points. Those saves now put him at 115 on the season and 3rd place in total saves in the MLS.

This season has been one to remember for Loons fans as the team has now jumped to 2nd place in the conference from 10th place in their first 2 seasons. On top of this, the Loons made it to the final of the U.S. Open Cup where they would play Atlanta FC after scoring 11 goals in the three games leading up to the final–an impressive feat for any team.

Unfortunately, the final did not go the Loons’ way as an early goal by Atlanta on top of an own goal in the first 10 minutes was too much for the Loons to overcome. Although they did get a goal back at the start of the second half and a red-card-worthy tackle by an Atlanta defender gave the Loons a chance, Atlanta was able to fend off the Loons and take home the trophy.

Next year with Minnesota United continuing to bring in talent in the form of either college draft picks in the MLS draft, or transfers and player trades, the Loons should be back stronger than ever and could potentially take home the trophy.

Next year with Minnesota United continuing to bring in talent in the form of either college draft picks in the MLS draft, or transfers and player trades, the Loons should be back stronger than ever and could potentially take home the trophy.”

Building on the success of this season so far, the Loons will look to make a run in the MLS playoffs this year as they have failed to qualify for any postseason tournament since their promotion while in the NASL in 2015. To do this, they will need help from their star man and leading goal scorer Carlos Darwin Quintero, a Columbian international who has netted 10 goals in the MLS along with 6 in the U.S. Open Cup, making him leading goal scorer for that tournament and also for the entire Minnesota United club.

Minnesota fans will be cheering on the Loons in their playoff appearances this year and with any luck, they’ll make a convincing run and give Minnesota fans even more to be optimistic about this year. Go Loons!