Minnesota United rookie forward Abu Danladi left Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Los Angeles in the 41st minute, limping to the locker room with the help of trainers.
Danladi went down late in the first half, clutching his groin area. Midfielder Johan Venegas came on as his replacement.
“He’s obviously very, very sore in his groin area,” coach Adrian Heath said. “So hopefully, he’s not too bad. We’ll know more tomorrow when he’s had a night’s sleep, let it settle.”
Danladi struggled with back spasms early this season that limited his playing time. He had earned the starting spot ahead of Venegas for the past several matches, though.
Depth for substitutes?
Heath has left one of United’s allotted three substitutions unused several times this season. Sunday, after switching Danladi with Venegas, he didn’t make another change until the 78th minute, bringing on midfielder Ish Jome for winger Miguel Ibarra.
“We’ve got Christian [Ramirez] on the field. Abu was on the field and came off. Johan Venegas. [They] have all played up front, so there are three,” Heath said of his attacking options. “Maybe we could have, if we had another on the bench, we might have thrown one on. But at this moment in time, we haven’t got one. So that’s something we’ll probably try and address in the next [transfer] window.”
The secondary transfer window is July 10-Aug. 9, when United can sign players under contract in another country or trade for players within MLS.
A line in the turf
Like two bickering siblings duct-taping a shared room in half, referee Chris Penso used his vanishing spray — usually for marking the distance a defending team has to stay from the ball during direct free kicks — to separate himself and his assistant from the angry masses.
Penso needed a second opinion on a play, with United players calling for a penalty. They thought a Galaxy player committed a hand ball in the box in the 64th minute. With players from both teams following him to the corner flag and pleading their cases in his ear, the referee whipped out his spray paint, drew a line several feet from where he and his assistant were and told players not to cross it.
Turns out, the officials actually were deciding if Ramirez was offsides and determined he wasn’t, so they gave a corner kick. But the unconventional and hilarious use of the spray to create a reverse timeout corner perhaps started the hot new trend in refereeing tactics.