It also marks another year-on-year improvement in terms of both points per game and goal differential for the Loons. And given the off-field difficulties of 2020, as well as having in his mind once again proved the critics wrong, this season's performance feels even sweeter for head coach Adrian Heath.
"[It's] more satisfaction this year in terms of what we've been through," Heath said after their victory on Decision Day presented by AT&T. "This has been the most stressful sort of five to six months that I've ever had in football," Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath said after the match. "I think we've proved an awful lot of people wrong this year with the amount of adversity that we've had to go through. I get a lot of pleasure from that."
2017: 1.06 PPG, 9th in the West, -21 GD— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) November 9, 2020
2018: 1.06 PPG, 10th in the West, -22 GD
2019: 1.56 PPG, 4th in the West, +9 GD
2020: 1.62 PPG, 4th in the West, +10 GD#MNUFC is back in the playoffs, with another match at Allianz Field. 3-0 the final. #MINvFCD
Their next chance to establish themselves as contenders in the West be in Round One of the playoffs against the Colorado Rapids, a team Heath feels might have certain advantages ahead of a meeting in mid-November.
"We know it's not going to be easy. We played them here recently, it was very tight, but the one thing about Colorado is that they're probably really fresh," Heath said. "They missed that many games, they haven't traveled, they've been at home so hey, I don't think they haven't got any internationals either so it's going to be tough for us."
Highlights: Minnesota United 3, FC Dallas 0
Despite those concerns, the win against Dallas on Sunday, and the Loons' body of work in 2020, has given Heath the confidence that his side can make a deep run in the playoffs.
"We came out on the front foot and we played the way I know we can play," Heath said about the Decision Day performance. "We're very, very difficult to play against."
With two weeks before the next match, Heath says it gives his team time to get players fit and perfect some ideas ahead of the Rapids match. It may seem like a lot of time, but there is one thing that will not be on the schedule.
"It's back on Monday," Heath said. "No celebration."