Minnesota United FC ended the spring season with a less than sparkling 3-0 loss to Atlanta in its return to the National Sports Center Stadium on the Fourth of July in front of an announced crowd of 6,507.
United got off to a hot start, but as the game wore on sloppy defensive mistakes sealed its fate in a fifth straight defeat.
It was probably not the way that Kyle Altman would have liked to captain his last game due to the Silverbacks taking advantage of United’s defensive mistakes.
But as a captain you take the good along with the bad.
“When we had the chance we were fortunate to put them away,” Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes said after the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute before scoring twice in a span of five minutes (77th and 82nd minutes) to secure the shutout win.
His team were at the right spot at the right time to take advantage, he said.
With a possibility of winning the league, Atlanta went for it, but needed some luck to secure the points.
In the first half Brian Stisser won a header at the near post and his flick beat United goalkeeper Matt VanOekel to score the opener. United will feel aggrieved to lose its season closer on its return to the National Sports Center, with not much to separate the sides over the course of the game beside Atlanta’s ability to capitalize.
The third goal was a sign of fatigue, as United’s long inaugural season caught up with them.
The game spiraled into a fit of push-and-shove as both side’s tensions were high.
A red card was dealt to United substitute Geison Moura and six cautions were issued in the second half.
Even with the string of tough results toward the end of the season United will return in August with a better understanding as a squad and what they are capable of.
United coach Manny Lagos said it best at the end of the game that this was “a big moment as a club to figure out how to get better.”
United returns to the stadium for an exhibition match against Flyover Cup rival FC Edmonton July 17 with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The match is one of the features during the week-long USA CUP youth soccer tournament which runs July 12-20 at the National Sports Center.