TORONTO – Minnesota United FC defender Brent Kallman wasn’t buying any theory about Saturday being a moral victory for the expansion side.
Sure, United gave a serious scare to to the top team in MLS. And yes, the Loons showed plenty of resiliency in fighting back from a pair of one-goal deficits. But in the end, the result was familiar — another road loss, this one a 3-2 defeat against red-hot Toronto FC at BMO Field.
“There’s things we can take from the game, but ultimately we’re going to be a little disappointed because we definitely could have came away with points and we didn’t,” Kallman said after United fell to 0-4-2 away from Minnesota and 3-6-3 overall. “We’ve got to learn from it, move on and not repeat those mistakes going forward.”
For all the good things the Loons did, it must be noted that giving up three goals isn’t a formula for success. After making great strides defensively in recent weeks, giving up only one goal in a just completed three-game homestand, their run of conceding two or fewer goals ended at six games.
The final goal Saturday was the dagger. United States international Jozy Altidore fought off two defenders before making a great cross to Tosaint Ricketts, who beat a pair of United players for a header that got past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to give Toronto a 3-2 lead in the 77th minute.
“We defended it well, we have it won, it gets cleared off somebody and pops right into [Altidore’s] feet. Then, he hangs up a good cross for Ricketts, who can jump out of the gym,” Kallman said.
“A bit unlucky on the last one, but it just goes back to you put yourself in those positions. We can do better.”
If United can tighten up defensively, much better times could be in store. While loaded Toronto had five regulars on the bench to start Saturday’s game — its fifth in 16 days — the fact the Loons went punch-for-punch against last year’s MLS runner-up could be something for the expansion club to build on.
Kevin Molino’s two-goal effort made the Loons the first team to score two or more times against Toronto during its current six-game win streak — and United had several other good chances.
“A lot of positives,” Molino said. “I think we had more than enough to win. We had a lot of chances. Most important, when you look at the first two games of the season to now, we are developing as a club. That’s a great positive to take back home. But … at times we shoot ourselves in the foot. It’s a learning process.”
Molino deposited his own rebound after he was stopped on a penalty in the 62nd minute to tie it at 2-2. Ten minutes earlier, the Trinidad and Tobago international did well to create separation from his defender on a pass from Abu Danladi before beating Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono.
Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco, who left the game with an injury late in the first half, opened the scoring on a penalty. Minnesota’s Christian Ramirez was charged with an own goal that put Toronto up 2-1 in the 54th minute as he tried to clear away a ball while battling a hard-charging Chris Mavinga.