After two games, the Loons are flying.
Minnesota United are one of four MLS teams to start the season 2-0-0, with both wins coming on the road. After a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers and a 5-2 triumph over the San Jose Earthquakes, Minnesota believe they can play with anyone in MLS.
"We have guys who are here and are hungry," midfielder Ethan Finlay told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. "We won’t be the most talented team week in week out but as a collective, we can beat anyone in this league. That's what we have to do. We have to play as a group, as a unit. When we do that, we're really tough to beat."
The club are ready to let the momentum roll through their home opener this weekend against the New York Red Bulls (Sun. 7 pm ET | FS1, TSN), the first of a four-game homestand. Last year, the Loons lost just once at Allianz Field.
After a club-record 53 points last year, Minnesota made a few key attacking changes this offseason. In came Luis Amarilla and Aaron Schoenfeld, out went Darwin Quintero and Angelo Rodriguez to headline a handful of changes as the club continues to get deeper.
Amarilla is off to a flying start, with a goal in each game thus far. Outside of the goals, the team have been appreciative of his work when out of possession.
"Luis is going to give us a different dynamic on the defensive side of the ball than we've had, I think we've seen that [already]," Finlay said. "To chase balls down, be in the right positions early. ... He's done a tremendous job of that."
"I think the chemistry is better," head coach Adrian Heath said. "The mood within the group has been fantastic since day one. We’ve probably got the most depth that we’ve had at any stage, probably since I’ve been in America actually. ... Competition for places is something we’ve never had to this level. I think we’ve probably got more goalscorers in the team than we’ve ever had. And I think we’re a little younger, little bit more athletic as well."
"When I got my big opportunity years ago, I was way down on the depth chart," Finlay said. "Last year it was Hasani and Chase, every year you'll see guys within a team that step up and play big-time minutes. It'll be no different this year. There are guys in that locker room who aren't starting but could play 10-15 games for this team, playing important minutes for this team."