Hello again, Loons faithful. Storylines here. Maybe it's just me, but it feels like the dog days of summer have arrived a bit earlier than anticipated. Perhaps that’s because it’s been a tough stretch over the last few weeks. While the boys' recent run of form has been a departure from their success over much of the first half of the season, there is something the entire Legion of Loons can applaud: midfielder Robin Lod’s selection to the 2024 All-Star Team. Even outside state lines, it’s an honor that is believed to be well-deserved. Lod’s impact on this squad rarely goes unnoticed by those of us who pack Allianz Field to see how the 31-year-old makes his mark on the match at hand. But, personally, this kind of recognition feels long overdue.

In an era when many sports stars feel the need to appeal to the masses and achieve social influencer status, Lod is a true throwback. He can talk the talk and walk the walk, but honestly, his "walk" has always been far louder than his "talk." If you need an American football analogy to compare, he’s the Loons’ version of Barry Sanders, because he understands the power in acting like you’ve been there before. That’s Lod to a T, as even his famous goal celly is a bit understated: an invisible bow with an arrow shot high into the sky, followed by a small celebration with teammates in the corner of the pitch. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else needed.

If you want to understand the man’s love for the game, check out “The Path,” where he discusses how difficult it was to watch his team struggle without him while recovering from his torn meniscus injury that kept him out for much of last season. His reaction to not being able to help the Loons succeed in his absence speaks volumes about a man willing to put the team first. He’s shown it in spades in past seasons with his flexibility and dedication to filling whichever spot the club needed him to occupy that match. That hasn’t changed, as Coach Eric Ramsay has utilized Lod much like former Coach Adrian Heath did — as a Swiss Army knife of sorts, stepping in wherever required that day. Through plenty of change and turbulence, Lod’s willingness to be flexible within the starting XI and give everything he has to each effort has always remained a constant.

When it comes down to it, Robin Lod isn’t a player seeking personal glory. The midfielder epitomizes “lead by example,” and he’s quite content with that approach. For a Minnesota United team transitioning to a new coach and a new front office with different ideas, Robin Lod remains a steady presence. His unmatched work ethic, quiet confidence, and lack of need to be his own hype man make him a veteran player long overdue for recognition as one of the most productive, dependable, and historically relevant players the Loons have ever had.

"Onnittelut" to Minnesota United’s all-time leading scorer for finally receiving the credit that is so long overdue. Robin Lod, you are first-class in every sense of the word.