It’s been a long mid-season break, but July 4th saw the Minnesota United FC play the Mexico U-21 National Team in a friendly. At times it was less than friendly, what with 3 red cards given for a confrontation in the second half. The team played with some new tactics and gave us a peek at what Manny Lagos might try once the season kicks off again this weekend in Ft. Lauderdale.
Player of the Match
Miguel Ibarra picked up another player of the match, with his high work rate and his new position as a forward. My favorite highlight of the night was his rainbow pass to Ramirez. With him pushing forward allows more room for other midfielders to find space in the midfield. The last two games have seen Lagos experimenting a lot with positions and formations. Will he go back to the 4-2-3-1 of the Spring Season or continue with the experimentation?
Defender of the Match
Kevin Venegas had a great game, although in one sense to call him a defender is a misnomer, as he spent much of the game pushing far forward along the sideline. If Minnesota had heat maps for their players the darkest portion for Venegas would be right along the halfline. The new formation of 4-3-3 gives a lot of space for Venegas to make overlapping runs.
Sub of the Match
Hildebrandt was rated really highly by the fans this week, but we still saw his struggles with goal kicks and passing. If he could improve on this area of his game, he would definitely find himself starting somewhere in NASL, if not here in Minnesota.
Ft. Lauderdale away this Saturday. Game time is 6:30 local time.