Even five days removed from the abysmal outing at Sporting Kansas City, Adrian Heath still doesn't have much to say regarding Minnesota United's disappointing performance.
"We had a few words this morning, and obviously, they've had a few days off," the coach said Thursday. "We spoke a little bit about the weekend ... and then we move on."
Heath said his main message to his players was: "There are ways of losing games of football." He said he thought the team had left matches, like the 3-0 loss in Kansas City, several weeks behind it.
But United can't keep rehashing the gory details, Heath said, and instead needs to start preparing for a U.S. Open Cup match back in KC on Wednesday and then a league match at Real Salt Lake the following Saturday.
At practice at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus, quite a few Loons were working through injuries.
Winger Miguel Ibarra, center-back Vadim Demidov and midfielder Sam Cronin all trained separately from the group. Ibarra picked up a right calf strain early against KC. Demidov endured a slight knee strain last week. Cronin, who was suspended for the KC match, was sick last week and might not be fully recovered yet. Heath said there was a "bug" going around the past few weeks (that took out midfielders Kevin Molino and Bashkim Kadrii for a match), and no one has been feeling 100 percent.
Left-back Marc Burch and right-back Jerome Thiesson were not at practice. Burch suffered heat exhaustion during the KC match while Thiesson endured a slight shoulder separation in the match. Burch came off in the second half while Thiesson played through his injury.
Heath said it would probably be too early to see Ibarra on Wednesday, and he's still deciding whether to risk Thiesson for that match as well. Same for Cronin. Heath also said it was "unfortunate" timing for Demidov's injury, as this could have been a chance for him to get some rare minutes.
But Heath is "hoping" that rookie forward Abu Danladi will be back in time for the Open Cup. The No. 1 pick trained with the group for the first time Thursday after recovering from a groin injury he picked up May 21 against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Midfielder Rasmus Schuller, who played most of the match in KC after coming on for Ibarra, also benefited from those minutes after recovering from a lingering hip flexor injury, Heath said.
Also, defender Jermaine Taylor was at practice and leaves for national team duty with Jamaica on Monday. He, defender Francisco Calvo and midfielders Johan Venegas and Kevin Molino are all for sure absences for the Open Cup match on national team duty.
Gold Cup snub
The U.S. men's national team recently released its 40-man preliminary roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and a certain Loon wasn't on the list.
While Christian Ramirez is tied for third in Major League Soccer with eight goals, it wasn't enough to gain the attention of his country.
"I was really disappointed for him. I think he's done more than enough," Heath said. "The kid deserves an opportunity.
"He just has to keep doing what he's doing. He can't influence what other people think of him or what other people are going to do. All he can do is keep scoring goals and put people under pressure to make that decision, the decision that he wants."