Andy Greder / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Darwin Quintero shouldn't be the only new Loon to play his first game in Minnesota during the upcoming homestand at TCF Bank Stadium. United coach Adrian Heath has been clamoring for roster reinforcements since last season, and he now has a few at his disposal. Plus, with the Loons mired in a franchise-worst four-game losing streak, there should be freedom to shake up the status quo.
ST. PAUL—Ian Fuller was tired and hungry after traveling from Minnesota to Ghana on a scouting trip last summer. In an area of the west African country with few restaurants, the United assistant coach spotted an outdoor kitchen with a huge pot stewing over a fire. Inside the pot, Fuller guessed, was beef intestine. The local custom, he learned, was to take it from the pot using a ball of dough, and he briefly dug in.
ST. PAUL — What's the best way to win MLS Player of the Week? Play against Minnesota United. Since Minnesota joined MLS at the start of the 2017 season, eight different players have won the award after big games against the Loons. That's 17.7 percent of the honors distributed during that time frame. The next-most frequent victim is the New York Red Bulls with four.
MINNEAPOLIS—Before Lindsay Whalen was introduced last Friday as the Gophers' new women's basketball coach, she already had contacted Dawn Staley. If there's a blueprint for the Lynx point guard to follow as she juggles playing in the WNBA this summer and coaching at her alma mater in the fall, it's Staley, who played point guard for the Charlotte Sting while coaching the Temple Owls from 2000-06.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota United has endured rough patches throughout its year-plus existence in MLS, but on Sunday, April 22, in Seattle, the Loons will look to dodge a new low: a four-match losing streak. To start this season, the Loons showed progress from last season's 10-18-6 record by winning two of its opening three games — including a road win that last year's expansion side didn't accomplish until late August. But since March 24, the Loons have lost three straight games, matching the club's worst skid since June 3-17 last season.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Darwin Quintero's silky individual playmaking turned the momentum in Minnesota United's attempt to spoil the Portland Timbers' home opener on Saturday night, April 14. After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, the Loons' new high-profile signing created for himself and broke through to score his first goal with the club in the 64th minute; it snapped Minnesota's 268-minute scoreless drought. Then after falling behind 3-1, Quintero's attacking pass to a streaking Abu Danladi set up a Timbers own goal with 10 minutes remaining.
ST. PAUL—Life imitated sports when Darwin Quintero heard the word "English" during an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press this week. Like the speedy playmaker intends to perform for Minnesota United, the Colombian saw an opening and filled it. After seven replies in his native Spanish tongue, he was asked about his second-language lessons since arriving in Minnesota on March 28. He paused and then gave a sample of what he's learned.
MINNEAPOLIS—Lindsay Whalen glanced down to notes on a manila file folder while standing in the shadows of a temporary stage set up on the Williams Arena court Friday afternoon, April 13. Athletics director Mark Coyle was introducing her as the Gophers' new women's basketball coach. Then Whalen, the Hutchinson, Minn., native, record-setting Gopher alum and WNBA champion with the Minnesota Lynx, ascended the stairs, stood behind the dais and seemed to wing her opening comments. "Um, yeah, wow, this is cool," Whalen said.
MINNEAPOLIS — Adrian Heath dusted off some of his favorite talking points Wednesday, April 11, regarding Minnesota United's debut MLS game last March, a close game that turned into a blowout loss to the Portland Timbers. "I want to get it in again," Heath said. "That 5-1 game was never a 5-1 game. In the 82nd minute, we were 2-1 down and in the ascendency." The Loons totaled 53.6 percent of the possession against the Timbers, the fourth-most control among the 17 foes to play the Western Conference regular-season leaders at Providence Park last season.
MINNEAPOLIS — With her No. 13 jersey hanging in the rafters of Williams Arena, Lindsay Whalen now will pace the venue’s sideline as the new head coach of the Gophers’ women’s basketball program.