Minnesota United’s coach Adrian Heath says this is easily certainly the most challenging season of his career. Heath has made soccer a significant part of his life as a player or a coach since he left school. The coronavirus outbreak had shut down everything. Now the MLS is back in a bubble, and now Minnesota’s coach is put into a test like never before with a series of injuries that the players are going through.
A Tough Year For Adrian Heath
Adrian Heath, coach of Minnesota United said, “I think it’s the most difficult year I’ve ever had in football. And when you consider that I’ve been doing this probably the best part of 45 years since I left school, it’s a really difficult year”.
Furthermore, he said, “There’s so much going on, so many other things that we have to consider, so many other things that we have to talk about. And it’s been difficult at times to keep everybody focused on what we do.”
He’s had to handle injuries that have ruined his lineup during a compressed season caused by a four-month coronavirus-pandemic shutdown. Moving forward, Heath and his team have made moves, like deal with Colorado for striker Kei Kamara, MLS’ fifth-leading all-time goal scorer, finalized Saturday.
Players And Their Injuries That Made The Season More Challenging
Minnesota United had seven players, besides five starters, on the injury list for last Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City. Minnesota’s top two players are included in the list of those injured. Defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and center back Ike Opara, a two-time MLS Defender of the Year. Opara has a condition that is not disclosed. Additionally, Alonso, the team’s captain, has a hamstring injury.
Moreover, midfielder Ethan Finlay is recovering from a knee injury and Luis Amarilla has an ankle injury. Aaron Schoenfeld trained on Thursday and might be available as a sub for Minnesota’s game at Houston on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Tyler Miller had hip surgery and won’t be able to play the rest of the season. Along with backup Greg Ranjitsingh is going to have surgery on his knee. Minnesota earned Adrian Zendejas in a trade with Nashville. Dayne St. Clair is the Loons’ current starter in goal.
Kamara The New Striker Of Minnesota United
Minnesota United will send a 2022 second-round SuperDraft pick. Along with $150,000 in 2021 general allocation money to Colorado for Kamara, a 6-3 forward who has scored 129 MLS goals since he made his league debut in 2006.
He acquired a striker position in which starter Luis Amarilla is out because of an ankle injury. Moreover, veteran Aaron Schoenfeld came back on Saturday from a calf injury. Schoenfeld was brought as a substitute for Saturday’s game at Houston.
Kamara, 36, and newly obtained backup keeper Adrian Zendejas will be accessible to play after completing a mandatory quarantine period, most probably by Wednesday’s game at Columbus Crew.