Minnesota United FC saw their 2021 MLS playoff dream come to an end on Sunday after suffering a 3-1 defeat against the Portland Timbers in the Round One match up.
The Loons opened up the scoring in the first half before conceding three straight goals by the 66th minute of the match.
United head coach Adrian Heath revealed he was pleased with how his team responded to the rough season, but admitted his form was too erratic to set up success.
“I think one of the words I’d use is inconsistent,” Heath said. “I don’t think we’ve been as consistent as we can be with the group that we’ve got. Obviously we’ve had large chunks of the season where our front players weren’t available, whether it be Emanuel Reynoso, whether it be Robin Lod, whether it be Franco Fragapane, and I don’t think that’s helped us.
“But we’ll dust ourselves down, the players have some time off, they’ll recharge the batteries and we’ll come back again and we’ll come back hopefully stronger. But this is certainly the best group we’ve had since I’ve been here so if we can add to it, which is going to be our objective in the offseason, to add one or two pieces with it, make us stronger in certain areas, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
Midfielder Wil Trapp echoed Heath’s thoughts, agreeing that the offseason focus must be on maintaining better form throughout the 34-game regular season.
“This game was a little bit of a microcosm of the season. You have good moments, you have not-so-good moments and ultimately we didn’t come out where we wanted to be. I think the course of the season showed that in our group,” Trapp said.
“The reasons for it, at this moment, I don’t have the exact answer. I think it’s always something where you look at the start. If we start poorly, how do we claw ourselves back, and I think we did a good job of that.”
Heath has yet to announce 2022 roster decisions, but his comments indicate that he feels Minnesota’s core is in place and no big changes are needed. The team now has weeks to prepare before the 2022 MLS season kicks off on February 26.