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Megan Ryan writes about Major League Soccer and Minnesota United.

Heath impressed with United's first-time starters

 

 

Here is my gamer from Minnesota United's 3-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. (Tangent: When I posted this blog, my gamer hadn't been updated to its final version, and my notebook wasn't online yet so like ... read those once they're posted.)

And now for more from midfielder Collin Martin. Martin made his first start for United on Saturday in just his fourth match for the Loons. He played the full 90 minutes alongside Ibson in place of injured Sam Cronin.

"I played with him in preseason a lot, and I thought we did well in preseason, and I really like playing with him," Martin said of pairing with Ibson. "I think early on, maybe I lost discipline, and I was running, maybe, at a position that I found if I held more, that works better with that relationship. But I really enjoy playing with him."

Coach Adrian Heath said the 22-year-old Martin had a tough job working into an injury-ravaged lineup against such a tough team.

"It's difficult when you come in, you're playing against a really good team. You're playing against a team that possesses the ball really well," Heath said. "And then Felipe [Martins] and Sacha Kljestan, they’ve got real quality. And not only the quality, they're really savvy players. They get the game. They know when to put you under pressure and when to leave you. But Collin's worked really, really hard. He's worked hard for his opportunity, and I think he's done OK today."

As far as new players having to figure out their place in the lineup, Martin said United plays a pretty simple system that everyone understands, so it's not hard to slot into the group. He wasn't the only new starter, as new signings winger Sam Nicholson and defender Michael Boxall also made their debuts and fit in "perfectly," according to Martin.

Boxall said with being gone most of the week to finish up his visa paperwork in Canada and only returning Friday night, this wasn't the best preparation he's had for a match.

"When you come in, you want to get used to the guys and figure out and understand how each other play as quickly as possible, And I think I've really only trained with the guys two or three times the full team all together," Boxall said. "And then I haven’t really played for a month. So to want to get the fitness back and then having to spend the whole week in Canada with that stuff, it's less than ideal."

Nicholson said he hadn't played in about two months and also felt not quite fully 100 percent for this match. But he seems to have already developed an understanding with fellow winger Miguel Ibarra, as the pair switched sides during the match after just sharing a look as a way to confuse the opposing team.

"I thought they were terrific," Heath said of Nicholson and Boxall. "When you consider that Michael Boxall got in late last night and has been in Canada for four days and yesterday was on a couple of airplanes … hasn’t trained, thought he was terrific, though. Sam Nicholson showed glimpses of what he's going to be. He can play. He can run with the ball. He can combine. But more importantly, I love the commitment of the two fellas because they are so far behind the rest of this group in terms of fitness and just even feeling comfortable with the group."

Forward Abu Danladi also returned from the latest in his string of injuries this season, replacing Nicholson after 60 minutes. Heath said the rookie "was really sharp when he came on" and gave the team "a real threat in behind."

Watch my Facebook Live below (or click here). Also here is a video from Heath's postmatch presser.

Michael Boxall and Sam Nicholson to make their Minnesota United debuts

According to his Twitter, Michael Boxall just got back from Toronto, where he was sorting out his visa, at 8 p.m. Friday night. But the defender still will suit up for a much-depleted Minnesota United side to make his debut against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Here is the whole Loons' lineup:

Bobby Shuttleworth

Jerome Thiesson, Michael Boxall, Brent Kallman, Ish Jome

Collin Martin, Ibson

Miguel Ibarra, Kevin Molino, Sam Nicholson

Christian Ramirez

Bench: Patrick McLain, Abu Danladi, Justin Davis, Collen Warner, Johan Venegas, Bashkim Kadrii

United is currently riddled with injuries and other various absences, so it's not surprising to see another short bench and several players playing through knocks. Along with Boxall slotting in at center-back, shifting Kallman to left-sided center-back, Scottish winger Sam Nicholson also makes his debut after finishing up his visa paperwork and returning to training on Friday. The pair had been gone since Tuesday.

Jome also gets the start at left-back instead of Davis. Martin starts alongside Ibson in the midfield in the absence of injured Sam Cronin.

Here is how New York will start:

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • New York at Lynx

    7 pm on ESPN2, 106.1-FM

  • Twins at L.A. Dodgers

    9:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Sioux City at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at L.A. Dodgers

    9:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Sioux City at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Lynx at Atlanta

    6:30 pm on FSN, 106.1-FM

  • Saints at Sioux City

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Oakland

    9:05 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • D.C. United at Minnesota United FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Saints at Sioux City

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Oakland

    8:05 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Saints at Lincoln

    2:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Oakland

    3:05 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Seattle at Lynx

    6 pm on FSN/NBATV, 106.1-FM

  • Saints at Lincoln

    6:45 pm on 1220-AM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Chicago White Sox

    Chicago Cubs

     

    - F

    3

    1

  • Houston

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    13

    4

  • Oakland

    Toronto

     

    - F

    2

    4

  • Cincinnati

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    2

    6

  • Kansas City

    Detroit

     

    - F

    5

    3

  • Baltimore

    Tampa Bay

     

    - F

    5

    0

  • Miami

    Texas

     

    - F

    4

    0

  • Colorado

    St. Louis

     

    - F

    2

    8

  • Atlanta

    Arizona

     

    - F

    2

    10

  • Minnesota

    LA Dodgers

     

    - F

    4

    6

  • NY Mets

    San Diego

     

    - F

    5

    3

  • Boston

    Seattle

     

    - F

    0

    4

  • Pittsburgh

    San Francisco

     

    - F

    10

    3

No NFL games today

No NBA games today

No NHL games today

No MLS games today