Christian Ramirez and Marc Burch had missed a combined 17 matches before they both returned to the starting lineup a week ago in a big comeback victory at Montreal.
On Saturday against FC Dallas at TCF Bank Stadium, the pair again started. And both said they were hoping to work out more kinks. Ramirez first came back from his July 29 hamstring injury on Sept. 13, for the last 18 minutes of the Vancouver loss.
“I could feel myself getting into the flow of the game a little bit more, but really, we didn’t practice all last week. It was a lot of travel, a lot of small stuff,” Ramirez said. “So I couldn’t really get that sharpness in that I wanted to be in certain spots earlier. But I wasn’t in tune with the game as much as I should be.”
Burch hadn’t played since June 3 and had to recover from bilateral sports hernia surgery. While he’s had a longer injury in his career, he recovered from that one during the offseason, not midseason.
“My body’s not 100 percent, and I don’t know how many times I’ve been 100 percent in my career, but it’s getting closer and closer. And I think a couple games and a couple game movements will get me to that point,” the left back said. “It was a lot of unknowns for that first game and when things would pop up or if it’d be fatigue or what would come on. So I’m just looking forward to getting out there and not really thinking about it at all.”
The Loons finally have developed a family vibe on the pitch this inaugural season. Not only did United spend a seven-day Canadian road trip together last week, but the team and families also went on a Lake Minnetonka cruise Monday evening.
“With starting a new team, guys are coming from everywhere and expecting different thing and having goals in different directions, but I think now it’s like, the team’s the most important thing,” Burch said. “We’re starting to mesh a lot better. We’ve gotten together a couple of times outside the game. … It’s been a lot of soccer and a lot of frustration on the soccer field, so it’s tough to really tell who people are and how they are. So I think it’s getting better.”