Many would agree that Minnesota United has underperformed this season. After the most recent heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids, some fans have been calling for Adrian Heath to be sacked. One thing that some fans may not have factored in is how hard the Loons have been hit by injury this year. Will this save Heath his job?
Minnesota United Squad Hit Hard by Injuries in 2018
Injury Leaves Hole at Holding Midfielder
The 2018 injury bug actually started towards the end of last season. Sam Cronin came in last year in a trade with Colorado and rescued the sinking ship that was the MNUFC defense at the time. However, concussion and neck issues caused him to miss the last nine games of the season last year. While working back from injury this preseason, he was reinjured and has yet to return. This has left a hole at defensive midfield that has yet to be properly filled. Perhaps a new signing could remedy this situation?
Club’s Wing Depth Also Beset With Injury Issues
Kevin Molino, unfortunately, tore his left ACL a few games into the season. Up to that point, he was having an excellent campaign, with two goals and an assist in only 140 minutes. This injury left the Loons without their most dynamic playmaker before the acquisition of Quintero. The injuries to the offensive end would continue, unfortunately.
Minnesota lost another one of their wingers to an ACL tear when Ethan Finlay went down. Like Molino, Finlay was impressing before the injury with two goals and an assist in seven games. The Loons gave him a raise to come into the Twin Cities from Columbus and produce, which he was doing until his injury. Luckily MNUFC has him under contract until at least 2021. So he still has time to the show Minnesota what he has got. These two ACL tears have had the winger position go from one of the deepest on the team to one of the thinnest. The injuries have not been limited to the offensive end either.
Fullbacks Have Had Trouble Staying Healthy
Both the Loons regular fullbacks from last year have been out most of the year due to injury as well. Their regular left back, Marc Burch, has had a left knee injury that has bothered him all year. This has limited him to 10 appearances so far. Jerome Thiesson has had a lot tougher time with a right leg injury. This injury has limited him to only three games this season. Their replacements also have had injury trouble. Eric Miller and Tyrone Mears have also missed time due to injury this campaign. This has forced rookie Carter Manley, and even winger Alexi Gomez, to fill in at fullback this season.
Loons Lineup Without Injuries
Minnesota United has arguably been the MLS club most affected by injuries this season. They have lost as many as five starters to long-term injuries this year. This number is amongst the top of the league if not at the top. There have been recent calls for Adrian Heath to be sacked, but will all the injuries give him enough slack to save his job?