Minnesota United’s depth is being tested, as another player left the game injured Sunday against Sporting Kansas City. Midfielder Rasmus Schuller went off in the 86th minute because of a head injury.
“The one area today that was a little bit of a concern, obviously with a couple of injuries again,” coach Adrian Heath said. “Rasmus has got a bad lump to the head, and [left back Jerome Thiesson] was carrying a knock late on. And we are getting stretched, and we’re bringing in people who have not played any football hardly at all.”
Heath said he will see where the injury situation is Monday. But it’s possible there could be an entirely new midfield for next weekend’s game. Ibson sat out Sunday with a thigh injury, and right back Tyrone Mears and backup goalkeeper Matt Lampson are also dealing with short-term injuries. Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth smashed his hand on the post during the game but kept playing. That’s on top of the long-term injured: outside back Marc Burch and midfielders Sam Cronin, Ethan Finlay and Kevin Molino.
The Loons did see one injury return Sunday in forward Abu Danladi, who came on in the 74th minute after missing four games with an ankle injury.
“We need some bodies back, and we need some fitness into the guys who are to play,” Heath said. “We’ve just spoke about maybe trying to fix up games with I don’t care who it is just get some guys 90 minutes … because we’re going to need them in the next few weeks.”
In 20 days, United’s development academy will finish its first year.
But with the last game June 10 for the academy’s first under-13 and under-14 boys’ teams, the next cycle will begin the very next day with tryouts as the academy looks to add an under-15 team. There is also a pre-Development Academy program for 10- and 11-year-olds.
Academy director Tim Carter said 250 in-market kids are already signed up to try out for the teams, which have rosters of 20 each.
Carter said he’s pleased with the progress of the academy, which will have its first player from out of market, Florida, on the U-15 team. The academy also had its first player make a national team camp in goalkeeper Fred Emmings, who went to a U-15 national team training camp in January.
Carter said he looks at the talent added every year as well as the technical improvement of the current players. And he said while the results of the teams aren’t the priority, he does want his teams to be competitive.
“Do we have some kids who could be pros? Who knows,” Carter said. “We’ll have some kids that will go on and do well collegiately. I know that for a fact.”
The academy is on track to add teams of U-16/17 and U-18/19 in the 2019-20 year. Adding a girls’ side is still fairly far off, as Carter said the MLS mandate is for a boys’ academy.