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Last weekend’s match against Sporting Kansas City was a do-or-die one for Minnesota United, and the team didn’t disappoint. The Loons put one of the top teams in the Western Conference on the hot seat as they defeated them 2-1.

The game didn’t start off in the Loons favor as SKC found the back of the net in the eighth minute. Minnesota didn’t let that affect their game and turned it around in the 20th minute as Franco Fragapane scored the tying goal. Then in the 39th minute, Emanuel Reynoso was fouled inside the box and awarded a penalty kick. The Argentine confidently took the penalty and scored a game-winning panenka on goalkeeper Tim Melia.

“It’s never easy when you go into a game, especially against a team that’s in the playoffs, comfortable where they are and playing with a lot of confidence and you know you have to win,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “If we had got a point today, maybe we would have still been in it, but realistically I thought we had to win the game today. To go into the game with that mentality — that you have to win the game — it speaks volumes for the players’ attitudes and determination. To come back from [going down] the goal like we did.”
Soccer is indeed a mental game and the Loons’ played one of their best games of the season against SKC. Now the team has to take that mentality into their next big match against LA Galaxy on Sunday, November 7.
“It’s making sure we have a disciplined structure,” said goalkeeper Tyler Miller. “We’re a difficult team when we have our back four intact and we’re all on the same page and we know what we’re doing. When things go a little array, that’s when we become a little susceptible. It’s the little plays, the set pieces, the corners, the stoppages, where we have to make sure we’re not switching off because all it takes against a quality attack and a player of Chicharito’s status and the other attacking players that they have, is one moment. We know that each moment can really define the game, especially in a decision day battle. It’s going to be a game of moments and we have to make sure we’re ready.”

The two teams are battling for a spot in the playoffs and with it, a chance to hoist the MLS Cup. Road games are never easy, but Minnesota will need to win or tie against the Galaxy to clinch a playoff spot.