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(Midseason) Storylines | Do Not Curb Your Enthusiasm For 2024 Yet


We’ve arrived at the midway point of Minnesota United's 2024 campaign. While the club's recent run of form may not evoke the same enthusiasm the Black and Blue garnered earlier in the season, it’s important to consider the entire body of work. Given the unprecedented situations the team has navigated through the first half of the season, evaluating their potential based on overall performance feels more relevant. Despite pre-season uncertainty, off-field distractions, numerous injuries to key players, and recent absences due to international duty, the 2024 Loons have shown resilience. This battle-tested team has the potential to regroup and remain among the top teams in the Western Conference as the season progresses.

It's natural for Loons' fans to maintain a typical Minnesotan cynicism, especially given past disappointments with the local teams. However, with Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Khaled El-Ahmad's commitment to building on the existing foundation during the upcoming transfer window, Eric Ramsay's strategic creativity, and a roster willing to adapt and play a more aggressive brand of soccer, the 2024 squad feels more dynamic than in previous seasons.

I’m realistic enough to know that an MLS regular season has its highs and lows. Unlike past seasons, the 2024 Loons are still in the process of forging their identity. Many predicted that 2024 would be a rebuilding year. Contrary to that belief, this team has shown that they can compete consistently with any MLS club. While they’ve managed to stay among the top teams in the West during the first half of the season, there are urgent matters the Loons must address to remain competitive. Chief among these is ending their three-game losing streak, especially with the Timbers gaining momentum and closing in the standings. Fans know that the atmosphere in Rose City can be challenging for any road team. However, the 2024 Loons appear more strategically equipped to adjust and counter opponents’ game plans.

The enemy of strategically sound football is unnecessary errors, and the Loons have made their share of costly mistakes in recent weeks. Hassani Dotson’s red card in the loss to Austin was a tough pill to swallow (though I have my own thoughts on that first yellow card), especially after the team put together a solid effort. To get back on the winning track, the boys must reclaim the discipline that defined their first-half performance. I have confidence they can address any issues, a confidence bred from their progress so far. From the sidelines to the front office, the 2024 Loons just hit different than in past seasons. There’s a new level of confidence radiating from every level of this club. They’re adapting. They’re evolving. They’re battle-tested. And in the grand scheme, they’re just getting started.