Darwin Quintero gives Minnesota United fans reason to hope after debut

In nearly a decade of Liga MX play with Santos Laguna and Club América, Darwin Quintero — named for noted scientist Charles Darwin — earned the nickname El Científico del Gol (The Goal Scientist).

Quintero, in making his MLS debut for Minnesota United FC on Saturday, got off to a bit of a rough start in the lab, but ended up making goal science look like art.

He got his new team within a goal of equalizing twice in the second half: On a 64th-minute goal that made it 2-1, and via the 81st-minute pass into the goalmouth that resulted in a Timbers own goal, closing their lead to 3-2.

Though the Colombian international couldn't find a formula for a result in the end in his first MLS outing, MNUFC coach Adrian Heath was still pleased with Quintero's debut. He believed the quality of the debut of MNUFC's first-ever Designated Player especially showed up after halftime.

"We kept believing in what we were doing," Heath said to Jamie Watson on the Minnesota local broadcast after the match, "starting Darwin on the ball, in and around the penalty area, some great bits and pieces from him. There's a lot of pleasing stuff."

Heath noted that there's still room for improvement from Quintero as he gets accustomed to MLS play.

"He'll be better," Heath said. "He hasn't played a lot of football of late. He was blowing at the end, but he didn't want to come off."

Heath was especially impressed with the pass that led to the own goal, noting, "It was a great ball; he puts it in a lot of dangerous areas. He can be pleased with his first day's work."