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Loons overrun by last-place Sporting Kansas City in 3-0 loss

MNUFC’s winless in 6 straight MLS matches since April 1

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Erik Thommy (left) fights for ball possession against Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod during the first half Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Kansas City.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Erik Thommy (left) fights for ball possession against Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod during the first half Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Kansas City.
Peter Aiken / USA Today Sports

Minnesota United’s malaise mounted in a 3-0 defeat to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park.

Minnesota (3-5-3) is now winless in six straight MLS games and all eight regular-season matches in Kansas. Meanwhile, last-place Sporting Kansas City (2-7-3) has won two straight after going winless in their opening 10 matches.

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The Loons were routinely beaten defensively, had next to nothing offensively, and at least in the first half, didn’t bring effort to make up for what was lacking on both ends of the field.

The damage first came on a corner kick in the ninth minute when MNUFC’s Kervin Arriaga and Micky Tapias were beat to a header by Daniel Rosero.

Then in the 22nd minute, the Loons’ three-man back line was cut up and Danny Salloi scored.

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The Loons lone foray into the Kansas City box resulted in Sang Bin Jeong winning a penalty kick from a tackle from Tim Melia. But Jeong’s shot went directly to Melia for an easy save and MNUFC squandered a great chance to get a goal back.

Loons manager Adrian Heath had stuck with the new 3-5-2 formation he used at the end of the MLS match against Vancouver and the U.S. Open Cup game versus Philadelphia.

Only three total changes were made to the starting XI from the shootout win over Union on Tuesday: Dayne St. Clair replaced Clint Irwin in net; midfielder Kervin Arriaga came in for Joseph Rosales; and forward Bongi Hlongwane took over for Mender Garcia.

But Heath ditched the formation at halftime, going back to the 4-2-3-1, bringing Franco Fragapaone for Brent Kallman. Then with 25 minutes remaining, slumping Designated Players Luis Amarilla and Mender Garcia subbed in.

But it was Sporting Kansas City finding the next goal. Johnny Russell took advantage of no holding midfielder and found Jadi Kinda for a goal in the 84th minute.

Briefly

Minnesota is 1-8-0 in MLS play in Kansas City, winning the biggest one — 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference semifinal — and losing all the rest since 2017. … MNUFC loaned out forward Tani Oluwaseyi logged two goals and two assists to lead San Antonio FC in a 7-0 demolition of Charleston Battery on Saturday. The 2021 MLS draft pick now has three goals in two USL Championship matches. … MNUFC2 signed forward Kameron Lacey, 22, to a one-year MLS NEXT Pro contract. The Miami native was a trialist for Loons for a few weeks. He has played for Orlando City, FC Dallas, the Jamaican youth national teams and four years at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

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