United veteran midfielder Ethan Finlay came through his first start last Saturday just fine, playing 75 minutes on his way back from knee surgery early last season.
“I’ve recovered really well,” Finlay said. “Physically, the body is good. Now it’s just getting through the mental challenge of what the experience gives you and dictates, and that will take a couple more games. But I’ll get there.”
Kevin Molino (knee) is close to returning, too. United upgraded him Friday from out to questionable for the first time for Saturday’s game against the New York Red Bulls. Star Darwin Quintero (groin) and Rasmus Schuller (thigh) are questionable, too.
Blazing their way
Among the festivities celebrating next Saturday’s Allianz Field opening is a Friday night show at St. Paul’s Ordway Theater that features Men in Blazers. They’re an English duo that offers its comedic take on soccer in America and football everywhere else in the world.
Roger Bennett and Michael Davis have their own website, podcast, NBCSN show and New York Times bestseller. Bennett is an Everton supporter who had a poster of star Adrian Heath — now United’s coach — over his bed when both were young.
“Everybody has a different take on football, but they are funny,” Heath said. “They’ve made a real name for themselves.”
Hook ’em, Raiders
Defender Brent Kallman is the favorite to win the Loons’ NCAA men’s basketball tournament pool and Heath probably will pull for Texas Tech in this weekend’s Final Four because he once coached in Austin, the home of the University of Texas.
“The March Madness thing, it reminds me so much of the F.A. Cup in England,” Heath said, “where teams that shouldn’t play against each other do and there always are big upsets.”
After all, you’re my …
United officials reached out to British musicians Liam and Noel Gallagher about having some part in Allianz Field’s opening. Loons supporters adopted their band Oasis’ 1995 hit “Wonderwall” as their own. The two once washed Everton players’ cars in Liverpool when Heath played there.
“They don’t do that anymore,” Heath said. “… The dialogue is ongoing with them. I think Liam is doing a new album and that takes precedent.”