Loons’ offense blanked in 1-0 loss at Austin FC
The Loons were kept scoreless for the first time this season. They have only five goals in six total games
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota United is playing average — and that might be complimentary.
The Loons lost their second straight game Sunday — 1-0 against Austin FC at Q2 Stadium — to fall to two wins, two losses and two draws on the season.
Austin, which improved to 3-1-2 and moved past Minnesota in the Western Conference standings, took the lead when Maxi Urruti was left unmarked near the penalty spot in the 58th minute, and he beat goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.
The play started with Wil Trapp losing possession in midfield and then not staying with Urruti after the Austin attacker went down on slight contact in the box.
The play left center back Michael Boxall furious.
After the goal, Loons manager Adrian Heath made a handful of attacking substitutions to try to grab a goal, including bringing in forward Adrien Hunou after the Frenchman rode the bench for the last four games.
The changes didn’t lead to a breakthrough, and the Loons were kept scoreless for the first time this season. They have only five goals in six total games.
It was also another down game for Loons’ MVP Emanuel Reynoso, who does not have a non-penalty kick goal or assist on the season.
Late in the first half, Reynoso gave the ball away in midfield and was fortunate to get it back straight away but then immediately lost it again. Heath soon called for calm.
In the second half, the Argentine nearly scored on a free kick, but it didn’t bend enough and was indicative of his continual misfiring to start 2022.
Joseph Rosales made his MLS start Sunday, and he was in the middle of the park with Kervin Arriaga and Trapp. Heath switched the formation from his preferred 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3. With Austin also going with a 4-3-3, that change meant a lot of bodies midfield. It led to a logjam that stymied any flow; each team managed only one shot apiece in a forgettable first half.
Austin is now unbeaten in its last six home games dating to the 2021 season, with the last loss coming 1-0 against Minnesota in October.