Here's a fun math lesson for you all: If you take Minnesota United FC's goal tally in all of its preseason games against fellow Major League Soccer teams, you get the Fibonacci sequence, where one number is the sum of the two before it.
1(-1 against New England), 1(-1 against Vancouver), 2(-2 against Portland), 3(-3 against Salt Lake).
So, essentially, when United plays Toronto at 2 p.m. Feb. 22 in Orlando, the result will for sure be 5-5. Can't wait for the monster goal tally by the end of the regular season. (Thanks to @mattsayssports for this fun fact!)
Anyway, the Loons drew 3-3 with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday at Providence Park in Portland in their final game of a three-game preseason tournament there. Midfielder Kevin Molino scored a brace while forward Johan Venegas came through with the stoppage-time equalizer after Salt Lake had taken the lead since overcoming a two-goal deficit.
Molino tapped in a cross from Venegas in the 24th minute before scoring a diving header off forward Christian Ramirez's service early in the second half.
But United let Salt Lake take over, starting with forward Yura Movsisyan's penalty kick in the 57th minute. Forward Chad Barrett then brought the score to 2-2 in the 79th minute before Andrew Brody sneaked one past the Loons with just minutes left in regulation.
Venegas, though, kept the preseason undefeated streak alive, latching on to midfielder trialist Eugene Starikov's pass deep into stoppage time.
While coach Adrian Heath said the chemistry between some of his attacking players "bodes well," in general, he could tell his team wasn't at its best and was "very sloppy." Heath said the players were too slow with ball movement and lacked quick decision-making to be able to get in the right position to receive the ball.
"The players looked a little bit leggy and a little bit not as sharp as they should have," Heath said. "I think the fact that we've probably done two- and three-a-days for the best part of 16 days and more now has finally caught up with them a little bit. So they'll enjoy the next couple of days off. And then we'll get back to work on Sunday."
Goalkeeper Patrick McLain saw his first playing time as a Loon because probable No. 1 choice John Alvbage traveled back to Sweden to finish up some visa paperwork before he returns stateside this weekend. United will soon have another keeper join the roster, as the team traded forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen for New England's Bobby Shuttleworth earlier Wednesday.
"The sad part for us, we had to give something up to do it," Heath said. "Femi's been an absolute dream to work with. He's a great kid, and I think he's got a future. But they really like him, and Bobby's somebody we've liked. And unfortunately for us, the only way they would do it is if Femi was involved. So we felt we needed to complete the goalkeeping situation, and that's what we've done."
Here was the starting lineup for United, looking like a 4-4-2: McLain; Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Francisco Calvo, Jermaine Taylor; Rasmus Schuller, Collen Warner, Miguel Ibarra, Molino; Ramirez, Venegas.