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Loons drop 2 points at home in 1-1 draw with LAFC

With Minnesota’s playoff positioning slipping in three straight scoreless losses, a goal and a point will be precious. But they lost points from a winning position at home.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Minnesota United FC
Los Angeles FC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau (16) makes a save against Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso in the first half Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at Allianz Field in St. Paul.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports
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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Loons captain Wil Trapp spoke Monday about the importance of not taking even a second off during the stretch run to the MLS Cup playoffs.

On Tuesday, Trapp’s midfield partner, Kervin Arriaga, was undisciplined in his high press early in the second half, and the Honduran’s forward movement allowed former MLS MVP Carlos Vela the space needed for the Mexican to use his magical left foot to produce an equalizing goal in a 1-1 draw at Allainz Field.

The brief letdown cost the Loons a win and three points after Brent Kallman’s first half header gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead.

With Minnesota’s playoff positioning slipping in three straight scoreless losses, a goal and a point will be precious. But they lost points from a winning position at home.

Minnesota (13-12-6) made the smallest improvement and moved up into fifth place with 45 points, while first-place LAFC (19-8-4, 61) continue to lag behind its once torrid pace.

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Minnesota United has been in desperate need of players to get on the end of Emanuel Reynoso’s corner kicks this season. Then Brent Kallman rose up and nodded home Reynoso’s corner in the 45th minute Tuesday.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Minnesota United FC
Los Angeles FC defender Jesus Murillo dribbles the ball against Minnesota United on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in St. Paul.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

Reynoso was issued a yellow card in the 88th minute, and he will be suspended due to yellow-card accumulation for another crucial game on Saturday at Sporting Kansas City.

A goal from an unlikely center back source ended a scoreless drought of 321 minutes across three full games and late into a fourth, the 2-1 win over Houston on Aug. 27. The Loons’ MLS-era longest drought is 357 minutes from June and July of its debut season

MNUFC manager Adrian Heath was delighted with his team’s “excellent” play in the first half, but he was livid over how LAFC striker Cristian Arango was only given one yellow card in the first half.

“Still don’t know why Arango has not got a second yellow card, but because it’s LAFC they don’t seem to have the same rules as everybody else,” Heath said on The CW. “Everybody knows it should have been a second yellow … The only person who didn’t give it is the referee (Tim Ford).”

The Loons got a boost when Reynoso passed a pre-match fitness test with an ankle that kept him out of the 1-0 loss to Portland on Saturday. Reynoso started between Mender Garcia and Robin Lod, with Luis Amarilla up top.

MORE MINNESOTA LOONS COVERAGE:
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Without him, the Loons are clinging to one of the final playoff spots with two games remaining.
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After a slow start, the Loons ascended to be one of the league’s best through late August, netting 26 out of the next 33 points during that stretch.
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Reynoso, who has a team-high 10 goals, tweaked his right ankle before halftime of last Saturday’s 3-0 loss to FC Dallas.
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Third-place Minnesota (13-9-5) travels to sixth-place Real Salt Lake (10-8-9) for an 8:30 p.m. CT kickoff Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
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Matt Navratil, a 26-year-old from Burnsville, Minnesota, is a diehard Loons fan and a season-ticket holder who travels with his parents, Scott and Chris, to a few road games each season.
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The Loons dealt with a steady stream of pressure, but made the most of their few opportunities to take all three points on the road.
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One of Dayne St. Clair’s first soccer memories is from roughly 20 years ago with him juggling a plastic balloon at his grandmother’s home in the Toronto area. The young Canadian wasn’t yet good enough with his feet to keep a heavier soccer ball aloft; he needed an inflatable orb that would hang in the air a bit longer.
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After signing a 2½-year contract with MNUFC through the 2024 season, with a club option for 2025, the 28-year-old Paraguayan has played in three games — an international friendly versus Everton, plus coming off the bench in two MLS games, wins over Houston and Portland.
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Minnesota United is 6-2-0 this season when he has a goal or assist, including four wins amid their current six-game unbeaten streak.
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Miller began the 2022 season as the Loons’ starter, allowing one goal apiece in a pair 1-1 draws into early March, but the 29-year-old New Jersey native fell ill before the third match and hasn’t played in MLS in nearly five months.

Lod exited at halftime with a “little issue,” TV commentator Callum Williams said on The CW.

LAFC started Gareth Bale and Carlos Vela and Arango were together for the first time since they were blitzed in a 4-1 loss at Austin FC on Aug. 26. Bale has been coming info the bench in the three matches since then.

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Arango was done at the half; Bale left at the hour mark.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Minnesota United FC
Minnesota Twins hall of famer Tony Oliva before the game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, between Minnesota United and Los Angeles FC at Allianz Field in St. Paul.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

Briefly

Members of the Gophers men’s basketball team were in The Wonderwall supporters sections seven and eight rows directly behind the south goal Tuesday. … Twins Cuban legend Tony Oliva was the coin toss honoree for the Loons’ Hispanic Heritage game. … Minnesota was without attacker Franco Fragpane, and LAFC missed defender Ryan Hollingshead. Both were suspended due to recent cards.

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA LOONS
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