Minnesota United's Adrian Heath has made soccer his life as a player or a coach since he was barely a teenager.
But he's never seen a season quite like this one.
"I think it's the most difficult year I've ever had in football," he said. "When you consider I've been doing this probably the best part of 45 years since I left school, it's a really difficult year. There's so much going on. So many things we have to consider. So many things we have to talk about. It has been difficult at times to keep everybody focused on what we do."
He's had to deal with injuries that have ravaged his lineup during a condensed season caused by a four-month coronavirus-pandemic shutdown. In turn, Heath and his team have made moves, such as a trade with Colorado for striker Kei Kamara — MLS' fifth-leading all-time goal scorer — finalized Saturday.
Heath heard LAFC coach and former U.S. men's national team coach Bob Bradley talk about the season and a league trying to play something of a full season both during its Orlando midsummer tournament and a condensed schedule in-market now.
"We know it has been a year of change, nothing we've ever been through before," Heath said. "It has been challenging, with everything that comes with traveling on the day of the game, trying to get players focused with what's going on externally. I don't know that it's just been for us. It has been for everybody. There's going to be games virtually every four days for the next two months.
"The number of injuries we've picked up certainly hasn't helped us keep a stable team. I hope we're over the worst of that and a few bodies will come back and we can get back to our strongest lineup on the field."
Kamara deal done
The Loons will send a 2022 second-round SuperDraft pick and $150,000 in 2021 general allocation money to Colorado for Kamara, a 6-3 forward who has scored 129 MLS goals since he made his league debut in 2006.
He boosts a striker position in which starter Luis Amarilla is out because of an ankle injury and veteran Aaron Schoenfeld returned only Saturday from a calf injury. Schoenfeld was designated a substitute for Saturday's game at Houston.
Kamara, 36, and newly acquired backup keeper Adrian Zendejas will be available to play when each completes a mandatory quarantine period, likely by Wednesday's game at Columbus Crew.
"We knew we had to make a move and we feel we have added another really important piece to our already potent attacking core," Heath said in a team statement. "Every team we play now will know they have to contend with one of the best aerial threats in league history."
Molino exits injured
Loons midfielder Kevin Molino — scorer of the game's first goal in the Loons' 2-2 draw at Houston on Saturday — left in the 86th minute after he was injured on a scoring chance that hit the post. "When you get a little fatigue, that can happen," Heath said. "He felt his hamstring was tight. Certainly the way he's playing, we'll not be risking him on Wednesday [at Columbus Crew] if that's the case."
• Newcomer Bakaye Dibassy started his second consecutive game, this time at left center back for Jose Aja. "I have no qualms starting him as a left-side center back in this league whatsoever," Heath said in a video call on Thursday.
• Saturday captain Michael Boxall became the Loons' all-time appearance leader in MLS games with 85.