Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath calls himself “bemused” about the regular-season schedule reconfigured by MLS after the four-month pandemic pause.
When it comes to the specifics, he’s something more than that, particularly about Saturday’s second one-day trip to Houston in little more than two weeks.
“It seems ridiculous that we’re going there again,” Heath said. “You don’t want to look at how many games we’ve played at home and how many we’ve played away. I’m at a loss to do that. I know it’s difficult with the situation we’re in. I don’t know why we’re going back to Houston when we were only there two weeks ago.”
By the time the Loons play Wednesday at Columbus Crew, they will have played five of their first eight games in a restarted regular season away from home and three at Allianz Field. Add the season’s first two games the Loons played in March at Portland and San Jose, and they’ll have played seven road games and three at home by late Wednesday night.
Saturday’s forecast for Houston predicts an 86-degree high, 10 degrees cooler than when the Dynamo defeated the Loons 3-0 on Sept. 2.
“It’s never easy there, it never is,” Heath said. “We know that. Look at this league, most of the teams get most of their points at home. That’s not just us. That’s a fact within the league. … But hey, as I told the players, we know our away form the last weeks has not been what we expect and has not been good enough. So let’s see if we can right that.”
The Loons are joining the pro sports cutout craze during the pandemic and for $60 you can get an image of yourself inside Allianz Field the rest of this season and benefit the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
Supporters upload their photo onto the team’s website — mnufc.com/fans/cutout-program — and a fan cutout will be installed on a first-come, first-served basis on the stadium’s lower level through season’s end. Cutouts will be available for collection to keep then.
Doing their part
Allianz Field will be the main ballot drop-off location for Ramsey County in the Nov. 3 general election as part of the “MLS Unites to Vote” initiative.
MLS, its Black Players for Change organization and the MLS Players Association announced they have launched a leaguewide, nonpartisan initiative to help players, staff and fans register to vote and participate in the election.
They did so on Thursday, ahead of National Black Voter Day on Friday and before National Voter Registration Day next Tuesday. The effort is intended to educate the community on the voting process, drive voter registration, encourage volunteerism on Election Day and show the effort of MLS clubs and players.
MLS’ office and U.S.-based club facilities will be closed on Election Day to ensure employees can vote and serve as poll workers or nonpartisan election volunteers.