The Call Up

Adrian Heath: Minnesota United can win anywhere in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs

Plenty can happen between now and when the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs start, and it's almost impossible to predict the jumbled mess that is the Western Conference.

And while Adrian Heath isn’t guaranteeing his side’s safe passage into the postseason, he's assured if Minnesota United FC get there, the Loons would be prepared for all challengers.

“Hopefully at the end of it we’ll be above the line. Because one thing I do know is, and I’ll say this to you now: I know if we get above that line, people will not want to play us in a one-off game,” Heath said on The Call Up. “The ability that we have in this group, we are capable of going anywhere and winning a game.”

MNUFC sit narrowly above the playoff line before their final six regular-season matches, one point in front of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. There are just six points separating fifth-place Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes in ninth, with Heath predicting playoff positions won’t be decided until Decision Day on November 7.

“This is going to go completely until the last game of the season, for sure,” Heath said. "Every game – we played the LA Galaxy a couple of weeks ago and after the game I thought Greg [Vanney] hit the nail on the head. You can just sense the games have become like playoff games already because there’s so much at stake.”

The Loons appeared to create some breathing room last weekend, going up a goal and being up a man at home against the Colorado Rapids.

But a late-match collapse produced a 3-1 defeat, placing added importance on their next match Saturday against West cellar-dwellers Austin FC at Q2 Stadium (9 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).

“We spoke this morning about leaving the disappointment of the weekend’s game behind,” Heath said. “We have to look forward. We don’t forget what went wrong, and we’ve gone through one or two things. But every game is so important for us now. We can’t think about what might have been. We can only affect what we’re going to do in Austin this weekend. Hopefully the four internationals come back and they’re fit and healthy for us.”

Then, after a rare non-conference game against the Philadelphia Union, the Loons close out against LAFC, Vancouver, Sporting Kansas City and the Galaxy.

“It’s going to go all the way to the wire,” Heath said.

For more from Heath, check out The Call Up's latest episode.