Minnesota United newcomer Robin Lod’s mind was willing, but his legs not so much when he played all 90 minutes Wednesday during the Loons’ 2-1 U.S. Open Cup semifinal victory over Portland.
“It was a tough 90 minutes,” Lod said. “I’m not 100 percent fit yet. I can be better. It’s mostly the legs that are so. I don’t have the power for 90 minutes, but I’m getting there.”
Lod hadn’t played a game since early June. The Finnish national team midfielder, signed from Spain’s second division, was a second-half sub in his MLS debut on Sunday against Portland. He will play his third game Saturday at FC Dallas.
“Considering he hasn’t played much football, I thought he was outstanding,” United coach Adrian Heath said. “He’s got great feet, really soft feet. It goes to him and you never feel like he’s going to lose the ball. He’s going to link up well with our players.”
Lod, 26, played on the left side in the first two games. He said he has played all three attacking midfield roles.
“Wherever the coach sees is best, I’m happy to be there,” he said. “I just like to play rather than sit on the bench or in the stadium. It doesn’t matter if it’s left, right or in the middle.”
Turn the music on
The Loons are undefeated in 11 MLS and U.S. Open Cup games (9-0-2) since a June 8 loss at Colorado. Veteran midfielder Miguel Ibarra isn’t sure whether to credit teammate Lawrence Olum’s locker-room DJ skills or Ibarra’s own spiky blond highlights, both of which debuted in June, for the streak.
“Lo plays everything — Spanish and Trini songs, old school and brand-new — and everything in between,” Ibarra said. “The guys just want him to keep going because we haven’t lost since then. And we haven’t lost since I dyed my hair. I just wanted something different. Looks like it was a positive move.”
At teammate Ethan Finlay’s request, Olum blasted some vintage Queen (“Radio Ga Ga”) and played the ‘‘Ghostbusters’’ theme as well Wednesday after the team’s Open Cup semifinal victory. Heath often has heard Norwegian band a-ha’s 1984 hit “Take on Me” as the team heads for the pitch.
“You know you’re getting a bit older when you don’t know any of the songs they’re playing,” Heath said.
Young man with a plan
United staff sent newly signed Thomas Chacon a training plan to follow while he remains in Uruguay the next seven to 10 days until his U.S. immigration process is complete. His most likely playing debut is a Sept. 1 game at LAFC.
“He’s training every day, he’s fit and healthy,” Heath said. “Their season just started so he should be in reasonable condition.”