A starter in Chicago last season, Minnesota United goalkeeper Matt Lampson started the first six games this season, but hasn’t played an MLS game since April 14 at Portland.
At least not until Saturday’s 1 p.m. matinee match against Colorado at TCF Bank...
He’ll get his next chance if Bobby Shuttleworth as expected can’t play.
Shuttleworth is listed by the team as out because of what it calls a knee injury. Coach Adrian Heath termed it a bothersome back that limited him in the Loons' 5-1 loss last Saturday at Philadelphia.
“I hope he’s available, I don’t think he will be tomorrow,” Heath said after training Friday. “We’ll give him every bit of time that we can, but we think that it’s highly unlikely.”
Heath said Shuttleworth – the Loons’ starter for all 25 MLS games since Lampson’s last game in April – felt some “discomfort” in his back and said, “We’re hoping it’s not too serious.”
Enter Lampson, who started 24 games for the Fire last season. The Loons have three games – two at home – remaining this season.
Lampson was at training early Friday and was among the last to leave, which isn’t uncommon.
“I try to get my work in when I can,” Lampson said. “I try to always improve. You can’t do that if you don’t take the time.”
Heath said Lampson has known most of the week that he’ll play Saturday.
“You want to say every single week you’re preparing the exact same, as if you’re going to play,” Lampson said. “But knowing that you’re going to play is a little bit different. I’m significantly more amped. I’m ready to go. I’m very, very focused on getting a result and honestly, I’m confident in what I can do. As long as I do my job well, I think it will help us get a win.”
At age 29, Lampson also has played for Columbus since he entered the MLS in 2012.
“He’s experienced, he knows the game,” Heath said. “He has been involved in it a long time.”
Lampson called getting an opportunity to play again, after being an unused substitute for so long, “the life of a goalkeeper” and one he knows well.
“Bobby can say the same thing,” he said. “We start games and then you’re done the rest of the year, or you don’t start the season and then you pick up the rest of the year. I mean, I’ve done both of them. That’s the life of a goalkeeper and there’s a reason we’ve been in the league as long as we have. We can do our job and we can do it well, regardless of the games you get…
“It’s no different than the way we started the season, it’s no different than any other game. I want to do what I can to help the team win, in whatever role that is, and this week it happens to be playing.”
The Loons get midfielders Fernando Bob and Maximiano back Saturday after each missed the Philadelphia game because of a suspension. But they lose Shuttleworth to injury and starters Rasmus Schuller and Francisco Calvo to international-team duty.
Both Schuller and Calvo are away with their national teams and won’t return until probably Thursday. Each is joining his national team for two games.
Heath said an extra day – after Saturday, the Loons don’t play until their home finale against the L.A. Galaxy a week from Sunday – will help.
“We just hope they come back here healthy and we’ll assess the situation when they get back,” Heath said. “You never know when they’ve got a couple games if they’re going to come back fit and healthy. We keep our fingers crossed.”
Heath called midfielder Romario Ibarra “day to day” after he missed last week’s game because of a hamstring injured while scoring his second goal of the night in a 3-2 victory over Portland two weeks ago.
“We’ll give him every bit of time for tomorrow,” Heath said.
Heath said Collin Martin is “getting a little better” after rolling an ankle severely, but called him “probably still at least another week” away.
Forward Abu Danladi remains out because of a hamstring injury, Heath said.