Jerome Thiesson experienced a small but momentous milestone Saturday in his injury recovery.
“First time in a long time that I had a workout with the soccer ball and with the cleats on, and I have a blister on my foot. How amazing is that?” Thiesson said. “I wish for the problem for a long time now and finally got one.”
Just this week, Thiesson came upon his two-month anniversary of a pesky calf injury where he has endured two setbacks. The outside back was Minnesota United’s iron man, playing every game since his arrival before the second game of the last season, a streak of 36 consecutive games stretching into 2018 before hip and groin injuries took him out for two games.
While he returned from those for a solid stretch, he has currently missed nine games, including Sunday’s match against LAFC, because of a calf strain. While Thiesson said he is ready to play whenever, the staff is making sure he recovers properly.
The most time Thiesson has ever missed in a season was four months because of inflammation in his knee, but he said he is positive this injury recovery won’t take that long.
Coach Adrian Heath said Thiesson’s injury has taken longer than he expected to heal, but he’s edging closer to full fitness. But the good news for United on the injury front is that both outside back Marc Burch and forward Abu Danladi are recovered from their respective knee and hamstring injuries and are ready to compete for playing time.
Minnesotan in LA
LAFC midfielder Calum Mallace was born in Scotland but grew up in West St. Paul. Mallace began his MLS career in 2012 with the Montreal Impact before playing part of last season with the Seattle Sounders and then with LAFC in 2018.
Mallace, who has played four games this year, said in May during United’s trip to LAFC that the camaraderie in the Southern California club’s locker room was the best he’s seen. But he also knows Minnesota is a special place for soccer, too.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much soccer means to Minnesotans. Growing up there, you see it all the time,” Mallace said. “Obviously, with this expansion team, the fan base that they’ve had, being a local guy, I think it’s incredible, and I’m happy for them. … They’re still a young team. It’s early. It’s only their second year, and they’re going to do big things moving forward.”
• The club expects striker Angelo Rodriguez, the team’s second designated player, to arrive in Minneapolis on Monday. Heath said Rodriguez has been training with his former team Deportes Tolima in Colombia and should be coming into training in good condition.
• Winger Romario Ibarra made his debut, coming on in the 78th minute. ... Winger Alexi Gomez left the game in the first half after enduring a minor injury. Heath said he has also been ill but should be fine in a day or so.