How this season went for Minnesota United FC

Photo: @MNUFC - Twitter

Minnesota United FC are one of the newest MLS franchises, with their inaugural season being in 2017. United have established themselves in the MLS Western Conference, reaching the playoffs in consecutive seasons.

The club had its most successful season to date in 2020, reaching the Western Conference final before a heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Sounders. The Loons are quickly gaining authority in the division, especially with players such as Emanuel Reynoso and Robin Lod.

Sports bettors and casual MLS fans increasingly tip Minnesota United FC for success nowadays. The franchise is a fully-fledged competitor in the Western Conference, hotly tipped for an MLS Cup at some point in the near future.

Understanding the recent form of the Loons is fundamental to placing the soccer bets. You’ll need to be aware of the standout players and results to make accurate predictions for the future. This knowledge is essential for other things like daily fantasy sports, even if you’re not betting.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. Stay with us for a comprehensive analysis of how the 2022 season went for Minnesota United. They may have been knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, but there was still a lot to be excited about!

Minnesota United looking to build on previous seasons

The Loons came into the 2022 season off the back of a first-round playoff defeat against the Portland Timbers in 2021. Minnesota United have started solidifying themselves as regular playoff contenders, looking to build on the success of the 2020 season.

The Saint Paul-based club narrowly missed out on reaching the MLS Cup championship game after a devastating final 10 minutes loss to the Seattle Sounders. United were winning 2-0 in the 75th minute, somehow succumbing to a 3-2 stoppage-time defeat.

But it wasn’t all bad. Minnesota had a near-perfect run in the 2020 “MLS Is Back” tournament, defying expectations to reach the semifinals, where they crashed out to Orlando City SC. It sparked a fire in the belly of the Loons, now looking to go one step further than before.

Confidence is a wonderful thing, and Minnesota United have earned their fair share over the past few seasons. The club went into the 2022 season on strong foundations but unfortunately didn’t get past the first round of the playoffs.

Nevertheless, reaching the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season is an achievement in itself, especially for a team with no major financial backing.

Minnesota United 2022 season round-up

Minnesota’s sixth MLS season began on February 26, 2022. The club played Philadelphia Union away from home, with the game ending in an uninspiring 1-1 draw. You could forgive the fans for wanting more, considering the Loons beat English team Everton 4-0 in their last friendly.

Another 1-1 draw with Nashville SC followed on March 5 before United got their first win of the season, versus the New York Red Bulls. It was a tight and cagey affair, with Luis Amarilla making the difference in the 51st minute with a well-taken goal.

The Loons also prevailed in a close 1-0 victory against San Jose Earthquakes a week later, resulting in a four-game streak without a loss. Unfortunately, things came crashing down against the Seattle Sounders and Austin FC in the next two games.

Minnesota United’s 2022 season was characterized by inconsistency. For example, a spell between June 29 and July 30 brought five wins in seven games, including victories over MLS heavyweights such as LA Galaxy and D.C United.

The club ran out of steam toward the end of the season, succumbing to five losses in six games between August 31 and October 1. This cost them a considerable number of points, but they still made it to the playoffs for the fourth time in a row.

United met FC Dallas in an epic first-round fixture that went all the way to penalties. The Loons narrowly lost on penalties, for a second year failing to advance any further. Fans came away several positives, though, so the future looks bright for Minnesota United FC.

Key Minnesota United players this season

The Loons play really well as a collective. Coach Adrian Heath has instilled a real team-driven mentality, although it’s impossible to ignore a few standout players. Here are three key players:

  • Robin Lod: The Finnish Robin Lod showed his versatility last season, playing across the forward line. He’s a winger by trade but scored several goals at center-forward and played pivotal roles in the engine room at various points in the 2022 season. Lod’s versatility makes him an invaluable asset.
  • Emanuel Reynoso: Finishing the season with 12 goals to his name, Reynoso was Minnesota United’s top goal scorer in 2022. The Argentinian has quickly become a Loons legend, being the first MLS player in history to hit three assists in several consecutive playoff games.
  • Luis Amarilla: One of United’s Designated Players, the Paraguayan Amarilla joined from Vélez Sarsfield at the start of the 2022 season. He made an instant impact, scoring nine goals throughout the campaign, including match-winners against the New York Red Bulls.
What does the future hold for the Loons?

Generally speaking, the future looks bright for Minnesota United FC. They have one of the best players in the MLS currently, with Reynoso, and have proved their consistency by reaching the playoffs on four consecutive occasions.

The major question following the 2022 season is how to ensure they take the next step. One more game-changing attacker and a more consistent defense could be the keys to the MLS Cup and sustained success.