Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Image: Minnesota United

Minnesota United FC earned their fourth draw of the season at Allianz Field Saturday evening, ending level at 1-1 against Real Salt Lake.

Winger Bongokuhle Hlongwane initially scored what would have been his seventh goal across all competitions for the Loons, but the strike was later sorted as a Justen Glad own goal for RSL. Hlongwane dinked the ball off the post and off of Glad, into the back of the net.

It came three minutes after the away side opened up the scoring through Jefferson Savarino in the 28th minute.

“I always say to you, I’m never disappointed from taking anything from the game. I thought we might have done enough to have won it. We created some good opportunities,” Loons boss Adrian Heath said. “About three games ago if we would have said we’ll take seven points then we would have taken it at the run that we were on at that particular time. I want to look at the positives rather than the negatives.”

The result saw the Loon compile a seventh out of nine possible points over their past three matches, including heroic late wins against both the Houston Dynamo and the Portland Timbers. Despite the positive result and stretch of late, MNUFC defender Michael Boxall wasn’t thrilled to come away from the contest at a deadlock.

“Definitely two [points] dropped. I don’t know, we have to be better. I don’t think that’s good enough at home. We must have the worst points per game record at home. These are the games we should be winning,” Boxall said. “I think they had maybe two shots on goal. I think for us in the final third, we need to be creating more, getting Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] running at players more, just giving their goalkeeper a lot more work to do at home in front of our fans, we expect more.”

The Loons biggest crowd of the season at 19,912 stormed Allianz Field for the Memorial Day showdown. Per Heath, it drove the players through the final stretches of the match, despite the draw.

“I have to say our supporters, the fans were magnificent this evening,” Heath said. “They never stopped from the first whistle to the last, trying to get out lads over the line and we’re as always extremely grateful for that. You know, but they never let us down.”

The Loons have now played six matches in league play at home this season, earning just one win along the way. Overall, they stand 1-1-4 (WLD) at Allianz Field this campaign while actively sitting 6th in the Western Conference at 19 points, level with the 5th place San Jose Earthquakes.

Despite their struggling home form, they group has found incredible success on the road with four wins out of a possible eight. In MLS terms, that’s the season evening out early on, meaning the final two-thirds of the campaign will prove to be ever-important for the group.

“I thought that we played a good match, and I think the vibe of the team is that we’re disappointed not to come away with a win,” midfielder Hassani Dotson said. “But, it’s the nature of the beast. We’ve got to be ready for our game on Wednesday versus Austin [FC]. Ultimately, I think we’re disappointed.”

The Loons have yet another quick turnaround, traveling to face Western Conference side Austin FC Wednesday evening at Q2 Stadium. Josh Wolff’s side sit 10th in the West, only five points behind the Loons. It will be an important contest for both sides as they look to find league form following Round of 16 knockouts from the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

By Jacob Schneider

Jacob Schneider is a freelance writer based out of the Twin Cities covering Minnesota United FC. He is a staff writer for, with other work found on & Follow his work on twitter @_JacobSchneider

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