Minnesota United's 90th-minute victory over Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday made a little history and sent it on to the MLS playoffs. But it wasn't the evening's only first.
It also assured a first for United coach Adrian Heath, who will coach his first playoff after four seasons coaching in the league with Orlando and Minnesota.
"It means everything to me," he said. "As I always said, I'm really proud of what I've done as a player and a coach, but this is the most important thing because it's the next thing."
Heath's Orlando City team finished seventh in the Eastern Conference in his only full season as coach in 2015. His United team finished ninth in the Western Conference in its inaugural 2017 season and 10th in 2018.
"Getting 10 wins that first year was as big a thing as making the playoffs for what we had to go through that year," said Heath, a former Everton star during his playing days in England's first division. "And only people within the club will know that."
There are only Sunday games at the same times on the MLS schedule these last two weeks. All Eastern Conference games will be played at 4 p.m. Central time this Sunday and all Western Conference games at 6:30 p.m. Next week every Sunday game will begin at 3 p.m. Central.
The league's intent is to protect the integrity of the games and keep teams and coaches from making game decisions based on other games.
League-leading LAFC comes to Allianz Field for a 6:30 p.m. Sunday game after it clinched the MLS Supporters' Shield for the league's best record on Wednesday. and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Asked if he expects those achievements to alter who LAFC plays and how much Sunday, Heath said: "I don't think [LAFC coach] Bob Bradley goes too much on sentiment. He's a top coach and the reason he's a top coach is he wants to win every single game."
United added Finnish national team midfielder Robin Lod, veteran French defender Wilfried Moimbe-Tahrat and young Uruguayan designated player Thomas Chacon during the summer transfer window that ended last month.
Here according to MLS' Players Association is what United paid them:
• Lod: $849,996 base salary and $952,496 total compensation.
• Moimbe-Tahrat: $252,000 base salary, $274,265 total compensation.
• Chacon: $324,999.96 salary, $336,999.96 total compensation.