Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.
Email Jon to talk about soccer.
Minnesota United had a somewhat disappointing trip to Kansas City, at least in terms of results, as they added a 2-1 loss to college team Missouri-Kansas City to their 2-1 defeat to MLS's Sporting KC. Friday, Max Griffin scored again for Minnesota - he's scored both of the team's goals so far in the preseason - and according to head coach Manny Lagos, it probably should have been 5-0 or 6-0 United at halftime. Instead, the team hit a bit of a wall from tiredness in the second half, and UMKC was able to come back and get the win.
Said Lagos, "That's kind of what preseason is... I think we had some tired legs. It was kind of a crescendo of a tough three days of training twice a day. But that's very much an important process of the preseason, and finding out where we're at."
Goalkeeper Daryl Sattler sat out again, still dealing with a hamstring issue, and midfielder/defender Edi Buro injured his ankle on Friday, but otherwise the team is reasonably healthy.
The Loons are back in Blaine this week, with two-a-days again all week, ahead of the team's only home preseason match, Friday at the Augsburg College Dome against Bridges FC. It seems like an awfully long preseason, but it's just 26 days before the matches start counting for real.
While we wait for real news, then, I encourage you to check out a very special episode of the du Nord Futbol Show podcast, as local soccer experts Bruce McGuire and Wes Burdine sit down with United team president Nick Rogers to talk about the future of the club. For me, it's a fascinating look not only at the re-branding process, but also at how the team will be run this year and in the future.
Pre-re-branding, the team also put out a video from the first day of training, one that includes a couple of interesting speeches. The first is a speech from team owner Bill McGuire that sets the stage for the season and includes McGuire's opinion on the difference between MLS and NASL; the second is an interview with Pablo Campos, who mentions his - shall we say strained? - relationship with Minnesota's fans, during his time playing for Carolina and San Antonio.
I'm not entirely sure that Pablo understands what the fans were yelling at him, to be honest with you.