Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath took Saturday's 3-2 loss at the Colorado Rapids a little bit harder than usual.
Part of that came from the shock of setting the team up well through solid training sessions, only to see the players deviate from the game plan throughout the game. And possibly a larger part came from something the coach had no control over: the refereeing.
Heath lamented several calls that cost United a much-needed victory over the bottom-dwelling Rapids. One was winger Miguel Ibarra's red card, which the player himself protested on Twitter. You can see Heath's assessment of it in the video I embedded below. Another was the extra minute of stoppage time when the referee allowed a final corner kick despite the announced six minutes having already elapsed. Colorado then scored the winner.
Heath said the team can't appeal Ibarra's red card. So while Ibarra is suspended against Dallas, it's likely Frantz Pangop will start.
"We've always been accused of having too many wide guys. We haven't got any at the minute," Heath said, adding about five starters are unavailable for various reasons.
The officiating also frustrated the coach in May during a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, another team languishing at the bottom of the standings. Heath had said he was going to contact the refereeing association about it. (Coincidentally, the head referee in that San Jose game was the video assistant referee in the Colorado game.)
But Heath doesn't seem optimistic about any relief.
"The hard part for the authorities is to admit that their people are making mistakes," Heath said. "We had probably four occasions last year where on Monday you get a phone call from the league office saying, 'Sorry about that. It didn't go your way.' And I think we've had another couple this weekend. So I think Manny (Lagos, sporting director) spoke to them. As long as we let them know our grievances. At the end of the day, they're not going to change. You know, it's difficult for them to be critical of their own people at times. Although, I don't think anybody could disagree with our grievances over the weekend."
Other updates from practice Tuesday at the National Sports Center:
Just forward Abu Danladi and outside back Jerome Thiesson were out of the session, besides the long-term injured. Thiesson has a calf/Achilles injury endured when he trained a bit too hard too early to come back from his groin injury. Heath still didn't mention what is ailing Danladi, but he won't play Friday in a 7 p.m. match against FC Dallas at TCF Bank Stadium. There were also about seven players training with the team, but United declined to give out names.
Matt Lampson (knee) looked to be back training while Eric Miller (hamstring) will join in fully Wednesday and should be good to play Friday. Miller picked up his injury in the U.S. Open Cup match at FC Cincinnati earlier this month, He said he thinks it was the product of a weird field situation in which there was a long walk from the locker rooms and players had to wait in the tunnel for 15 minutes before kickoff. So a lot of them became tight again despite the warm-ups.