Minnesota needs to unite the ball and goal against RailHawks - LouisKensei Blog - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

Minnesota needs to unite the ball and goal against RailHawks

Much to the umbrage of the fans, Minnesota United FC found itself with a draw last weekend.

Sharing the spoils of a hard-fought game usually isn't such a bad thing, but if Minnesota's league standings the past three seasons is anything to go by, it wasn't good enough.

The match was entertaining; United had a handful of chances that very well could have - and maybe should have - been goals.

Nestled near the goal I saw chance after chance come and go as United, quite honestly, cut the Tampa Bay Rowdies' defense to shreds. Striker Pablo Campos played a large part in this. It was quite the change from a man once described during the fall season's opener as lazy, seemingly content to saunter around the field in his much "too tight shorts." This scathing review came from the sister of Robert Desimone, United's director of community programming, by the way.

Campos seemed inclined to prove a point (shorts size be damned), working hard to get in behind the defense - even if his touch proved too heavy on many occasions. He also dropped to the ground much like the snow does in a Minnesota winter: often. As a team that loves to take to social media and video to bemoan diving antics in the league, maybe they shouldn't.

Cheating aside, he managed a goal from a squared ball from Max Griffin inside the six-yard box, looking good on occasion throughout the match.

It's more than anyone can say about former United striker Etienne Barbara, who now plies his trade for the Rowdies. For those who may not know, Barbara and Campos both earned Most Valuable Player awards in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in previous seasons. When the new owner came in they made a point to splash some cash for the offensive pair. Club president, former lawyer, and FIFA 13 video game player Nick Rogers paraded them both around local events - including many a basketball game.

It was an odd move. Being NASL MVP doesn't garner much fame; parading them around likely raised questions of, "Who now?" from bystanders unfamiliar with the team. In short: Barbara didn't do much for the team. He didn't set the scoreboard on fire, and he dives more than Campos (most famously when he pretended to be fouled when tripping over the ball during the dome opener of this year's spring season).

If anything can be taken away from the heart-wrenching feeling of losing out on three points because of a stoppage-time goal, it's the fact that United seems to be getting better each week.

To be honest, United should have won. To be fair, that's sports. Wastefulness in front of goal tends to result in these types of bitter results. Anything short of a win today against the Carolina RailHawks will put a damper on United's hope of making it to a third successive championship final.

More important than the scoreboard, however, is the sustainability of the team. Regardless of the season's end result, the club's prolificacy in the stands seems to only grow each game. Money will do that - even if those in charge of the club seem to have a minute understanding of the sport and culture, and tend to marginalize the club's communications to serve a broader audience.

comments