Minnesota United got off to a rough start against San Jose on Tuesday night, had a positive stretch lasting a few minutes, and then went back to struggling at PayPal Park, earning a 1-1 draw with the Earthquakes after allowing an own goal early.
The Loons benefited from a red card to the Earthquakes and quickly got an equalizing goal, but with a 10-man advantage for 70 minutes couldn’t break through with a winner.
“It feels like a loss, man; it really does,” Wil Trapp said. “When you are up a man for the amount of time that we were, scoring as quickly as we did to draw it level again, we expected more from ourselves, we expected more from the game. I think, look, credit to them.”
Coming out of halftime with a man advantage, the Loons attack — missing a few injured players — failed to get a shot on target for nearly 40 minutes. Bakaye Dibassy broke the drought, but his attempt from distance wasn’t challenging.
“I thought second half we were too vertical and really didn’t make the man advantage pay enough,” manager Adrian Heath said. “When we did get into the final third, I don’t think our quality was good enough. … We got enough of the ball in their half of the field. I don’t think we played side to side enough and overloads on the opposite side, the weak side, and when … you keep playing in straight lines you are not really getting much of a numerical advantage.”
Minnesota (7-6-6) settled for a point for a second-straight game against San Jose (5-7-8). The Quakes started their improved form with a 2-2 draw at Allianz Field on July 3 and extended their nine-game unbeaten streak (2-0-7).
United central midfielder Jan Gregus was dealing with a sore ankle and was taken off in the 63rd minute, replaced by winger Justin McMaster. Heath wanted to see if McMaster could create some threats in wide areas. “But it wasn’t to be,” he said.
The Loons missed leading scorer Robin Lod (calf), as well as Franco Fragapane (thigh) and Niko Hansen (hamstring). The team was playing on three days’ rest, but the lengthy man advantage provided them an opportunity to overcome those other exacerbating factors.
The first half got off to a horrific start for the Loons with Cristian Espinoza’s pass across the goalmouth deflecting off Bakaye Dibassy’s foot and into the net in the 12th minute. Brutal luck for the Loons, but San Jose was able to get pretty deep in the defensive third with ease.
In the 21st minute, a video-assisted review deemed Quakes center back Nathan deserved a red card with a studs-up challenge above Dibassy’s shin guard. With a man-advantage for the next 70 minutes, the Loons wasted no time to get the equalizer. With an assist from scuffling striker Adrien Hunou, Trapp rolled in his first goal in a Loons shirt a minute later to tie the game at 1-1 in the 22nd minute.
The Loons made only one change to its starting XI and it was a forced one, with D.J. Taylor replacing left back Chase Gasper, who was unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols. Backup goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair was also out due to COVID-19 protocols. McMaster played in a second-straight game after his own absence relating to the coronavirus.