Here are the ten things we learned from Week 2 of the 2017 MLS season.
1. Nightmare Pt. 2 For Minnesota
Minnesota United made their MLS home debut in a blizzard on Sunday afternoon in front of more than 35,000 fans at TCF Bank Stadium, and, somehow, managed to get beat worse than they did in their first game in Portland.
Atlanta United had the lead after just three minuets. They were up 3-0 inside of a half hour. The game would finish 6-1, but not before Minnesota goalkeeper John Alvbage was, fittingly enough, stretchered off the field with a nasty leg injury.
United have now conceded eleven goals in their first two MLS games. They’re the first team in league history to concede five or more in back-to-back matches.
It was a disastrous and completely unacceptable performance. The Loons again created a handful of good chances and put together good stretches of attacking possession, but, again, the defense was shocking.
Take this stat: Alvbage, before his injury, had saved just three of the thirteen shots he’d faced in the club’s first two games. The defense has been that bad.
Vadim Demidov and Jermaine Taylor have both had fine days as professionals, but the game has passed both men by. Demidov is a costly swing-and-miss for United – he is the club’s captain, after all – but there’s simply no way he can start next weekend.
Adrian Heath needs to shake things up and give this club’s supporters something to hang their hats on, because the danger here is that everyone in the Twin Cities stops paying attention to MLS.
Minnesota has the Vikings, the Twins, the Wild, the Timberwolves, and the Gophers, and United’s stadium now isn’t scheduled to open until 2019. If the Loons continue to be this bad, they’ll get lost in the shuffle – and won’t be able to complain.
2. Atlanta Puts on a Show
The chatter leading up to this game pitting expansion clubs was that Atlanta’s young South American players would be shells of themselves in the snow.
Well, Josef Martinez had a hat-trick, Miguel Almiron had a brace, and the likes of Yamil Asad, Hector Villalba, and Greg Garza all picked up assists in the coldest game in MLS history. For as bad as the competition was, this was still a statement win.