Minnesota United untroubled by early defensive woes

Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Through their first two games of the MLS season, Minnesota United has conceded six goals. It is the second-highest number in the league and, despite an admittedly small sample size, is a worrying trend for Minnesota United.

And, considering that a season ago, they allowed 26 goals in 21 matches played (fourth best in the Western Conference), the suddenly loose defending from Minnesota United (0-2-0, 0 points) is a troubling start to the season.

A 4-0 loss in their season opener at the Seattle Sounders was followed by a 2-1 loss last week in their home opener to Real Salt Lake. This weekend, they host expansion side Austin FC (1-1-0, 3 points).

“I don’t think it’s a defense, I don’t think it’s a collective, I think it’s individual errors have cost us dearly and the people who’ve been involved with the errors know that,” head coach Adrian Heath told reporters tis week.

“That’s part of football.”

Minnesota United was a surprise team last season, advancing to the Western Conference Finals and were just minutes from advancing to their first ever MLS Cup. They upgraded their roster this offseason, noticeably in the attack. But the backline is suspect and the attack, while still lacking new signings such as forward Ramon Abila and

, has produced just a single goal this still young season.

In Saturday’s loss to Real Salt Lake, Minnesota United had 55.7 percent possession with a staggering 23:11 advantage in shots. But they managed just two shots on goal. Real Salt Lake had four shots on frame in the game.

“Our general play has been excellent in both games, I’m sure that anybody who’s seen it, I’m sure the opposition would tell you that,” Heath said. “And I’m sure Josh [Wolff] and his staff will look at the game and think, ‘They’re probably a little bit better than they’re record this season suggests,’ but it is what it is. We’ve got to go out on the pitch and prove it and I’m confident we’ll get a result this weekend.”

Follow Kristian Dyer of ‘MLS Multiplex‘ on Twitter @KristianRDyer