In the lead-up to Saturday’s season opener at Vancouver, Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath said his 2019 squad was “a different team” with “a different mentality, different mindset” than their predecessors.
Viewed in the context of their first two years of struggle in MLS, the Loons’ wild 3-2 road win over the Whitecaps is different, all right.
It was just the fifth road win in MNUFC’s MLS history (out of 37 away games dating back to 2017), their first ever against a Western Conference rival – and their first win in a season opener since 2014, back when they played in the NASL:
It also breaks a road winless skid of nearly a year: Last season the Loons won just once away from the North Star State, a 2-1 victory at Orlando City on March 10. In their 2017 expansion campaign, Minnesota posted a 3W-12L-2D road record and last year they went 1W-14L-2D on their travels.
Heath & Co. would warmly welcome a permanent shift in MNUFC’s competitiveness on the road; they open the season with five consecutive away matches as they count down to the debut of their gorgeous new stadium, Allianz Field on April 13.