After two long weeks of no MLS games, the Loons will finally have an opportunity to play a full 90 minutes again.
Last week the Loons began the process of getting back into their regular routine, since they had a four-day vacation with no training sessions. The Minnesota heat didn’t make it an easy training week either with the scorching 90-degree weather, but at least the heat is preparing them for their next match against FC Dallas.
“I honestly think this team is going to get better and better,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We’ve got two or three new players added, looks like everybody is match fit, so hopefully upwards and onwards.”
Although it wasn’t an ideal time to have an international break, Minnesota United has had some time for certain players to get back into shape, such as midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and newcomers Franco Fragapane and Adrien Honou.
“Not only have they been able to get some fitness,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath, “a little bit [of rest] for Franco because he came in on the back of a lot of games in a short period of time. We managed to give him a little bit of a rest to recharge. Adrien was a little bit different, he hadn’t played for several weeks and we’ve been able to get some work into him. Now we’re just trying to integrate them into the group. They’re both really good lads, they’ve done really well so we’re looking forward to seeing them on the field with the teammates.”
Not only have the newcomers had an opportunity to restart, but the entire team has had a chance to do so as well, both physically and mentally.
“I just think kind of, not a restart to the season, but yeah, it wasn’t the greatest start and we just refocused, got a couple of results the last three games, the first stretch, that was huge for us,” said midfielder Niko Hansen. “Big confidence booster, momentum shifter, now we’re looking to carry that momentum into this next set of games coming up this summer.”
As the Loons continue their training without those on international duty — Robin Lod, Jukka Raitlala and Jan Gregus — they have begun to prepare themselves for FC Dallas.
“Yeah, it’s going to be tough. Playing down in Dallas in the summer is never an easy feat, so we’re conscious of that, but we’re going to get a result,” said defender Chase Gasper. “With everyone healthy and selecting from the entire group, I’m excited for the team that’s going to be playing this Saturday. We’ve seen them a lot, we know they like to pass out of the back and break down the group, so we’re just focused on our defensive shape and attacking on any mistakes of theirs.”