United draw with Carolina feels like less

  • Article by: JON MARTHALER , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 25, 2014 - 8:55 AM

A large crowd showed up, and their pursuers flopped, but trouble on pitch hurt.

view larger photos


Minnesota United drew 0-0 with Carolina on Saturday night in Blaine, in the team’s final home game of the NASL spring season. While the scoreline was even, it doesn’t indicate the difference between what went right off the pitch for Minnesota and what went wrong on it.

On the field, things seemed to continually go against United, trying to widen its lead in the NASL. For one, the team had two players leave the game injured. First, center back Tiago Calvano limped off the field with a pulled hamstring. Later, goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel twisted his ankle when coming down from an awkward backwards leap. He left the field almost immediately and was on crutches after the game.

In the final 10 minutes, both Cristiano Dias and Omar Daley were sent off for late tackles, meaning that United finished the game with just nine players on the field.

Despite all of the red cards and injuries, it was a pile of missed chances that really frustrated United. Minnesota outshot Carolina 17-8, with eight of those 17 shots on target, but couldn’t make its offensive advantage pay.

Miguel Ibarra had a one-on-one chance against Fitzgerald in the 22nd minute of the first half but couldn’t find a way around the keeper. In the second half, United forward Christian Ramirez had two excellent chances with his head, but both sailed harmlessly over the crossbar, and Justin Davis couldn’t find the target after slipping in behind the Carolina defense.

“That happens sometimes,” head coach Manny Lagos said after the game, his frustration evident. “There’s no rhyme or reason why maybe you’re just a little bit off.”

With just two games left to go in the spring season, all of the results around the league went Minnesota’s way. New York, tied for second place at the beginning of the day, could manage only a draw at home against last-place Indy. Fort Lauderdale, the other team tied for second place at the beginning of the day, lost 3-2 to Tampa Bay.

The results meant that a United victory would have given the team a near-unassailable five-point lead in the NASL standings. Minnesota even had its biggest crowd on hand since the team’s new ownership took over at the beginning of 2013; perfect weather and the Memorial Day weekend helped draw 6,784 people to the National Sports Center.

Given everything that went right off the field for United, the 0-0 final qualifies as one point — and a missed opportunity.

  • related content

  • Vikings VP Bagley states intent to bring MLS to Minnesota

    Saturday May 24, 2014

    Bagely spoke about the Vikings' future in MLS with the Star Tribune's own Michael Rand.

  • United's Aaron Pitchkolan, left, and Carolina's Nick Millington fought for control of the ball.

  • United’s Cristiano Dias (foreground) kept the ball away from Carolina’s Daniel Jackson. Later Dias was sent off for a late tackle.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 Bottom 9th Inning
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 Bottom 9th Inning
Toronto 6
San Francisco 2 Top 4th Inning
Oakland 5
Cleveland 0 Top 4th Inning
Cincinnati 1
Boston College 0 Top 2nd Inning
Boston 0
Arizona State 4:10 PM
Boston 6:00 PM
LA Lakers 6:00 PM
Sacramento 6:00 PM
New York
Houston 6:30 PM
Utah 7:00 PM
Washington 7:00 PM
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Nashville 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Calgary 6:00 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 6:30 PM
Ottawa 7:00 PM
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Ole Miss 6:00 PM
Eastern Mich 6:00 PM
Ball State
Kent State 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio 6:00 PM
Georgetown 6:00 PM
Toledo 6:00 PM
Central Mich
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
North Carolina 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Holy Cross
Iowa 6:00 PM
Akron 6:00 PM
Army 6:00 PM
Maryland 6:00 PM
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Stetson 6:30 PM
North Florida
Wright State 7:00 PM
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Kentucky 8:00 PM
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Auburn 8:00 PM
Michigan 8:00 PM
Villanova 8:15 PM
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 29 2nd Half 3:42
Presbyterian 40
Coastal Carolina 5:00 PM
NJIT 6:00 PM
UMass Lowell
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State


question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters