The San Jose Earthquakes host Minnesota United FC for the second game of the season on Saturday at Earthquakes Stadium. How is it going through one week with the Loons? We spoke to Vince Rosetta of SB Nation’s Minnesota United site E Pluribus Loonum to get the deal on the opponent. Many thanks to Vince for taking the time to answer my questions!
Center Line Soccer asks E Pluribus Loonum:
- How did opening week go for Minnesota United, and what are the expectations in 2020 for the team?
Opening weekend went very well, we beat Portland at Portland 2-0. Our new signing Luis Amarilla got his first MLS goal and that was fun to watch happen. When we signed him, he said at his press conference that he was going to score 25 goals this year. That’s one down, and we are going to hold him to 24 more.
Kevin Molino scored twice from his midfield role so that was fantastic to see. We struggled at times to score goals in that position last year so it was very positive to see. As far as expectations for this season, I’m very optimistic. We got quite a few new players in at key positions so it will be key that they gel as a team fast. One of our biggest additions was keeper Tyler Miller from LAFC so he will add a lot of experience in the net and might be a little busy for a few matches.
2. How has the team changed since playing the Quakes last summer? Any of the newcomers catching your eye early?
The team has changed quite a bit since last season. The biggest loss was when Darwin Quintero left to join the Huston Dynamo in November in exchange for a draft pick in 2020. He was a dynamic goal scorer for us so it could be a big loss.As I mentioned earlier, Amarilla could easily make up for the scoring that Quintero provided. His preseason went very well and it carried over to the first match so he will definitely be someone to watch grow with the new offense.
3. Matias Almeyda seemed to be legitimately touched by Adrian Heath inviting him for a postgame drink last season. Do you think this is a classy gesture by your manager or kind of a weird thing between opponents?
Not weird at all, it’s actually a very common English football tradition used as a sign of respect. It started way back when in England and was used to forget the “battles” on the field.
Coach Heath explained it last year in one of our local papers, “The invitation will always be there and it will be there regardless of what happens on” game day, Heath said. “That is what I love about English football. It’s full of blood and thunder on the field. People get after each other on the bench and say things that they’ll probably regret at the moment. But invariably, I can count on one hand that somebody had not wanted to shake your hand or come in and have a drink with you after the game.”
“It gives everybody a chance to decompress,” Heath said.
4. Prediction for Saturday?
A United win of course! Honestly, a lot will depend on our midfielders. If they can play like they did last week then it will be a very good game for us. The Quakes proved that they can score fast so it is really tough to say. 2-1 United.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!