When Minnesota United faced off with the Seattle Sounders this past Sunday, it was yet another new iteration of the back line.
For the first time as a Loon, team captain Francisco Calvo played left-back, moving over from his usual left-side center-back. Jerome Thiesson was at right-back with Michael Boxall at right-side center-back. Brent Kallman came back in as the left-side center-back for his first match since July 22 after dealing with injuries.
While most teams like to solidify a starting back-four early and never change it, United has had to switch up its defense often because of national team departures and injury. But Kallman said those adjustments haven't been too hard.
Kallman played 61 minutes with Boxall as his center-back partner back in the 3-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on July 22. With Calvo being experienced with the left-back role playing it for his Costa Rican national team, that shift wasn't a problem either, Kallman said.
Calvo's move to left-back pushed Ish Jome to the bench. Jome had been starting at left-back for the past three matches before Sunday, learning the new position on the job. Kallman said while it definitely took Jome some time to acclimate, Kallman feels like left-back could be Jome's new choice position.
As for Kallman, he started the season as the right-side center-back before shifting to the left recently. Kallman recalled how early in the season, the coaches asked Thiesson what side he preferred, and Thiesson said he attacked better on the right but defended better on the left. Kallman has the same quirk.
"Obviously, my range of passing is better on the right since I'm not a left-footed player," Kallman said. "But defensively, I think I see the game better on the left for some reason."
Other notes: Midfielder Bashkim Kadrii missed practice on Tuesday at the National Sports Center dealing with "personal issues," according to coach Adrian Heath. Heath said it depends on if those issues resolve if Kadrii will be back into training Wednesday. ... Forward Christian Ramirez and left-back Marc Burch again participated in full practice on their way to full recovery after a hamstring and groin injury, respectively. ... Center-back Joe Greenspan is still practicing partially separately after his concussion and broken nose. Same with defender Thomas de Villardi, whole is still rehabbing an Achilles injury.