Shorthanded Loons grind out 1-1 draw with FC Dallas

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Minnesota United took the field against FC Dallas on Saturday with 11 players, per rules, but they did so with a whopping 11 players absent, including eight away on international duty.

The shorthanded Loons scored first and held on for a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Allianz Field.

MNUFC (8-3-5, 29 points) dropped points at home, but making do without players responsible for nearly 6,000 MLS minutes can be looked at as a positive. Dallas (3-8-5, 14 points), which had only two minor players away for international team duties, continues to languish in the bottom of the Western Conference.

MNUFC established a very high press to start the match and FC Dallas insisted on playing out of the back. Goalkeeper Maarten Paes’ bad pass was won by Bongi Hlongwane, and it bounced to Hassani Dotson, who slotted in the opening goal in the ninth minute.

Dallas had scored the third-fewest goals in MLS this season but had success on set pieces. They ran a short corner, a tactic they have employed this season, and after they worked the ball around, Liam Fraser equalized in the 15th minute.

Minnesota outshot Dallas 10-3, including 4-1 on target. Dotson had another long-range shot, but Paes denied it.

Victor Eriksson, who made his first start Saturday, made a nice recovery run and intervention to deny former U.S. men’s national team player Jesus Ferreira in the 34th minute. Ferreira got in behind Michael Boxall, but Eriksson stepped up in a big moment.

Eriksson had a rough MLS debut at Philadelphia on March 30 but was much better in Saturday’s first half.


The Loons had four Minnesotans on the field at the same time. Devin Padelford (Maplewood), Caden Clark (Wayzata), Kage Romanshyn (Apple Valley) and Patrick Weah (Minneapolis). That might have been a record for the local club. … MNUFC called up four players on short-term loans for Saturday’s match: midfielders Romanshyn and Molik Jesse Khan, defender Morris Duggan and goalkeeper Alec Smir. … Romanshyn and Duggan made their MLS debuts in the second half. Micky Tapias has received his U.S. green card and will vacate an international roster spot. He has been awaiting the return of his passport in Mexico and it’s setting up for him to be back in Minnesota next week. … Zarek Valentin returned from international duty with Puerto Rico and was available off the bench. … The Loons printed a placard of Robin Lod to promote his MLS All-Star Game bid. Lod, who has 15 combined goal contributions this season, was fifth on the ballot for attacking midfielders as of midweek. He was behind, in order: Luciano Acosta (Cincinnati); Riqui Puig (LA Galaxy); Thiago Almada (Atlanta); Emil Forsberg (New York Red Bulls).

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