Loons suffer another letdown in scoreless draw with FC Dallas

Willie Nelson was set to play a concert after the Minnesota United-FC Dallas match Saturday night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Like the 88-year-old performer, the Loons were on the road again. And like so many other stops along the way, Saturday’s scoreless draw will blur into so many other unfulfilled results for the Loons this season.

Minnesota (10-9-8) has still not won at Dallas in MLS play and suffered a second tie with 11th-place Dallas (6-13-10) this season. It’s among a growing list of draws against teams beneath them in the Western Conference standings.

“We all know what’s at stake,” goalkeeper Tyler Miller said. “We know there are seven games left now, and we have four at home, three away. So if we can continue to make Allianz Field a difficult place to play and when we go away from home, we pick up a point in all those games, then we are averaging two points a game. So that for us will definitely put us in a very positive position to compete for a home playoff game.”

United had a trio of chances in the 73rd minute. Phelipe Megiolaro made a double save on Robin Lod and Franco Frgapane, and soon after that he dove to deny Emanuel Reynoso from outside the box.

Megiolaro again denied Lod in the 87th minute, and he finished with seven saves, six after halftime.

“As I just said to the players, I think a second-half performance deserved a win because we had a lot of opportunities,” manager Adrian Heath said. “The keeper made three or four unbelievable saves. I was really pleased with the response of the players on the back (losing 3-1) in D.C. on Wednesday.”

In the 89th minute, Reynoso was given a straight red card for a challenge on an FC Dallas player, and video-assistant review determined it was “serious foul play.” The Loons will be without their top playmaker on top of three starters away on international duty against Colorado next Sunday.

“Guys were talking about it and from our standpoint, we think Rey took a touch and just happened to step on the guy,” Miller said. “Maybe it’s a yellow card.”

Heath said they will review the play and appeal the decision, if they feel aggrieved.

Dallas appeared to take a 1-0 lead in the 61st minute after Michael Boxall’s clearance went off Ryan Hollingshead and he scored. But VAR waived off the goal due to a handball on Hollingshead. Heath felt like while that call was the letter of the law, it was harsh toward Hollingshead and Dallas.

Miller was forced to stretch to the absolute corner of the net to deny FC Dallas’ Brandon Servania in the opening moments of the match. It was the start of a busy opening half, where he had to make three saves. Miller got some help with center back Michael Boxall muscling FC Dallas star Ricardo Pepi off the ball during a run into the box.

The Loons brought back two key midfielders, Reynoso and Ozzie Alonso, after they were rested in the 3-1 loss to D.C. United on Wednesday.

Read More