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The Daily Dirt, March 26: Mediocrity

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Can Minnesota get out of the hole their front office dug?

MLS: Minnesota United FC at New England Revolution Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota United is on a dangerous road to mediocrity after yesterday’s 5-2 loss to the New England Revolution.

The atrocious defense is on a pace to allow 153 goals in 2017. The current record for goals allowed in a season in MLS is 67 (Chivas USA, 2013). This is a team with a poor starting lineup, no real depth, and limited immediate options in improving their situation.

Sure, the Loons did “officially” join MLS late last summer and the delays regarding their stadium did set them back a bit. However, they also seemingly had no plan to build a competitive MLS roster and have made decisions in putting together this squad that have set them back even further.

This is not just about spending money to bring in big-name players, this squad has no foundation either. Moves could have been made within the league to field a competent team. Michael Parkhurst, Sean Johnson, Mark Bloom Sheanon Williams, Jeff Larentowicz, Jacob Peterson, Josh Williams, Harry Shipp, Will Bruin, Javier Morales, AJ DeLaGarza, Dax McCarty, Alan Gordon, Tyrone Mears, Chad Barrett, David Horst. These are all players who moved from team to team within MLS that could have been useful for Minnesota United. Instead, the Loons’ front office made some international signings that are not panning out.

It will be up to the front office to find ways to move on from players that are obviously not cutting it in MLS. Without knowing the status of which contracts are guaranteed and which are not, it is hard to know where to even start. The backline is the most immediate area in need of upgrades, but improvements are needed all over the field.

The great fans of Minnesota do not deserve the product being put out in front of them. Unfortunately, it won’t be easy to improve it quickly. Too much money wasted on too many players that will not be easy to ship out. We’ll see if Adrian Heath’s three-year proclamation can be met, it looks like 2017 will be a wasted year in Minnesota.


Domestic

Columbus Crew sends a message with their win over the previously unbeaten Portland Timbers (MLS)

New York Red Bulls keep their home unbeaten streak alive in a listless, scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake (Once a Metro)

Tyler Adams demonstrated his quality for the Red Bulls in the match (SB Nation)

What does Minnesota United need to fix? (ESPN)

Orlando City newcomer Will Johnson quickly earns the captain’s armband (Orlando Sentinel)

Brandi Chastain inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame (Mercury News)

Great goal from Pittsburgh’s Corey Hertzog in their season opener over the New York Red Bulls II:

International

According to Paul Scholes, Gareth Southgate needs to develop an identity with the English national team (BBC)

Life as a scout under Rafa Benitez at Liverpool (ESPN)