Minnesota United FC 1, Orlando City SC 0 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Adrian Heath picked up a win against his former club. Christian Ramirez made up for last week's blunder.
Saturday proved to be a good day for Minnesota United.
Minnesota used a second-half strike from Ramirez to edge Orlando City, 1-0, at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday night. Ramirez, who had netted a decisive own goal in a loss to the LA Galaxy in Week 12, scored his eighth tally of the season in the 56th minute when he was played through on goal via a delightful through ball from Johan Venegas.
The shutout victory gave Minnesota United head coach Heath a win against Orlando, the team he previously managed during a stretch that included the Lions' first two seasons in MLS.
- 56' – MIN – Christian Ramirez Watch
- THAT HAD TO FEEL GOOD: From fans to players to Adrian Heath to staff, everyone at Minnesota United will enjoy Saturday's victory. Minnesota's performance was not their best of the year, but it sufficed to pick up the Loons' fourth win of the season and put them just two points off the red line in the Western Conference. It was just icing on the cake that the shutout gave Heath a victory vs. his former side and Ramirez a bounce-back outing.
- WHAT A PASS: Plenty of the spotlight will be on Heath and Ramirez after this one, but another member of Minnesota that deserves credit for the triumph is Johan Venegas. Helping fill in for Kevin Molino, Venegas helped provide the difference by hitting a gorgeous flicked pass into the path of the streaking Ramirez for the game's lone goal. It was a moment of magic from the Costa Rican, and that play combined with his solid overall showing should give him confidence to perform at a higher level in the coming weeks.
- LACKING CREATIVITY: Orlando City had chances to find the back of the net -- they took 20 shots, seven of which were on target -- but they lacked the creativity necessary to generate quality looks in the final third. The Lions combined well on one play in the first half that led to a near goal from Scott Sutter, but that was about as good as it got as they too often settled for blasting harmless, long-range efforts. Kaka's presence was sorely missed, and Matias Perez Garcia and Co. did not do enough to fill his shoes.