Minnesota United FC 1, Sporting Kansas City 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Minnesota United FC's quest to win two games in a week for the first time in their MLS history, and Sporting KC's quest to officially clinch qualification to the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs fell short on Saturday, as the teams played to a 1-1 draw at TCF Bank Stadium.
Sporting opened the scoring just before halftime, as a long build-up resulted in a quick set of passes into the box, where forward Diego Rubio latched onto the ball and slotted it in.
KC were dealt a blow in the second half, however, as stalwart goalkeeper Tim Melia was forced out of the game due to an injury, replaced by Andrew Dykstra. Minnesota tied up the game in the final minutes, as Brent Kallman scored his second MLS goal with a header.
Minnesota's chances of pulling out a win were dealt a blow in stoppage time, as defender Joe Greenspan was sent off on his second yellow card with several minutes to play.
- LIMBO RESULT: Truthfully, a draw isn't a great result for either team. Sporting have not clinched a playoff spot, although they are most likely to make it to the playoffs for the seventh straight season, and Minnesota were eliminated from the postseason, after FC Dallas drew Colorado in another game on Saturday. While the game in Minneapolis was short on crisp scoring chances for most of the evening, both teams were trying to go for three points, and the game opened up considerably in the second half. But this is the kind of draw that will definitely leave both teams unsatisfied.
- MELIA'S STATUS: The biggest concern on the night has to be Melia's injury and his status moving forward. Until being forced out in the 59th minute with a leg injury of some kind, Melia had played every minute in MLS this season for Sporting to almost certainly be the frontrunner in the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year race. An injury at this point in the season probably won't jeopardize his chances of picking up that personal honor, but if he has to miss time in the playoffs, Sporting's prospects of a double this season will likely take a considerable hit.
- RALLY SO FAR: A bright spot for Minnesota here is that they did manage to rally late twice this week to pick up points, although they couldn't replicate their Tuesday heroics, when in Atlanta they flipped the script and won in the dying minutes. Still, Minnesota can take some measure of comfort from continuing to play considerably better during the final two-thirds of their expansion season in MLS and finish the year on a credible note.
They Said It
"For me, the highlight has been the relationship with the fans during the season." - Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath postgame.