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Minnesota United roughs up Everton 4-0 in international friendly

Loons coach Adrian Heath played for Everton in 1980s.

MLS: USA Tour-Everton at Minnesota United
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (10) celebrates his penalty kick goal against Everton with midfielder Franco Fragapane (7), forward Luis Amarilla (9) and midfielder Joseph Rosales (8) in the first half Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at Allianz Field in St. Paul.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports
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ST. PAUL -- It was just an international friendly match, but Minnesota United put a beating down on its prestigious visitors from across the ocean.

The Loons poured on the offense against Everton FC in a 4-0 rout Wednesday at Allianz Field in a tune-up match before MLS play resumes on Saturday.

The “international friendly” definition may not have been descriptive enough, as it meant just a bit more to Minnesota United manager Adrian Heath, who played six seasons with Everton in the 1980s. Even though it must have been a special game for Heath, his team still has important MLS games coming and needs to be sharp.

MLS: USA Tour-Everton at Minnesota United
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (1) cannot stop the deflection as Minnesota United forward Luis Amarilla (9) looks on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at Allianz Field in St. Paul.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

The Loons starters played the first half, and that’s all they needed to pad a large lead that held to the final whistle.

Minnesota United’s leading goal scorer Emmanuel Reynoso got the first-half scoring party started. He made a few nifty moves to force a handball in the box, which gave him a penalty kick on the Everton goalkeeper and captain Jordan Pickford. Reynoso made the shot count to give the Loons a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.

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MLS: USA Tour-Everton at Minnesota United
Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair leaps to make a save against Everton on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in St. Paul.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

Four minutes after an own goal by an Everton defender made it 2-0 for Minnesota United, Luis Amarilla knocked in a short-range goal off a rebound from Pickford to make it 3-0. Late in the second half, Abu Danladi scored off a centering pass from Alan Benitez, who was making his Loons debut.

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The Loons’ kit men are responsible for setting up the team’s oval-shaped locker room at Allianz Field, with everything players need to perform — from emergency headgear down to their socked toes.
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Fragapane is on a team-friendly guaranteed compensation of $257,000, per MLSPA, and has been one of the most productive Loons over his two seasons.
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MNUFC went into Saturday’s match in California with an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot with a win and some help. That assistance came with Real Salt Lake’s draw with L.A. Galaxy late Saturday night, but Minnesota didn’t do its part of the equation.
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Without him, the Loons are clinging to one of the final playoff spots with two games remaining.
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With Minnesota’s playoff positioning slipping in three straight scoreless losses, a goal and a point will be precious. But they lost points from a winning position at home.
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After a slow start, the Loons ascended to be one of the league’s best through late August, netting 26 out of the next 33 points during that stretch.
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Reynoso, who has a team-high 10 goals, tweaked his right ankle before halftime of last Saturday’s 3-0 loss to FC Dallas.
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Matt Navratil, a 26-year-old from Burnsville, Minnesota, is a diehard Loons fan and a season-ticket holder who travels with his parents, Scott and Chris, to a few road games each season.
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The Loons dealt with a steady stream of pressure, but made the most of their few opportunities to take all three points on the road.
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One of Dayne St. Clair’s first soccer memories is from roughly 20 years ago with him juggling a plastic balloon at his grandmother’s home in the Toronto area. The young Canadian wasn’t yet good enough with his feet to keep a heavier soccer ball aloft; he needed an inflatable orb that would hang in the air a bit longer.

Though the starters came out after the first half, Reynoso’s night ended sooner than the rest. Shortly after his goal, he was down on the field with an injury. Heath made the decision to get his star out of the game after Reynoso got up.

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Related Topics: MINNESOTA LOONS
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