Player Ratings: Minnesota United at San Jose

Well, that was a stunning turn of events. Minnesota United did its best zombie impression Saturday night, coming back to life and almost completely recovering from a 3-0 deficit against the San Jose Earthquakes. This was about to be a scathing review of an organization that lacked ambition this offseason and by doing so threatened to repeat a historically bad first-ever Major League Soccer season.

That narrative was turned on its head by a stunning late sequence of events thanks to Kevin Molino’s heroic two-goal effort. The aforementioned worries may still be very real for United, but they will be put on hold, for now, after a thrilling end to the season opener.


  • Molino showed he can be a star and producer United can rely on. Although United made some inexplicable defensive lapses, their team spirit was never completely broken and it showed as they pushed San Jose to the very brink at the end of the match.


  • Defense. Defense. Defense. Francisco Calvo continues to prove to be a fantastic individual footballer, but his ability to lead a defense, both as a leader and by example, remain very much in question. The issues in the back are larger than that, however, and you must question Adrian Heath as to how similar Saturday’s woes were reminiscent to last year’s tragic defending.

Manager rating out of 10

5 — Heath made some bold calls — benching Christian Ramirez and Bobby Shuttleworth — and though neither of them full-on backfired, both left you scratching your head. His biggest downgrade though comes from his lackluster defense as they continue to look unorganized and lacking confidence. This should have been priority No. 1 all offseason and preseason, yet it still lucks just as poor as before. Reprehensible.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Matt Lampson, 6 — Wasn’t really at fault for any of the goals he conceded and made a few solid saves. Pleaded with his defense to move and remain organized, hopefully he’s leadership moves the unit in the right direction.

RB Tyrone Mears, 6 — Provided stability and experience at a position were United were weak last season, but still looked behind in terms of chemistry with his new teammates.

CB Michael Boxall, 4 — Did well to win 50/50 heading opportunities, but was similar to his center-half counterpart in terms of poor positioning on San Jose’s goals.

CB Francisco Calvo, 3 — Wildly out of position or making bonehead decisions for both of San Jose’s first two goals. His rating is so low because expectations for the captain are so high.

LB Jerome Thiesson, 6 — For my money, one of United’s best players full stop. Made good decisions when others were panicking but was beaten for pace on San Jose’s third and game-winning goal.

CM Ibson, 3 — Had an appalling performance for a man of his experience. No surprise United’s comeback began after he was subbed off.

CM Rasmus Schuller, 4 — His distribution was identical to Ibson in its ineptitude. Both had countless turnovers and couldn’t facilitate as a center midfielder should by even the most modest of standards.

RW Ethan Finlay, 4 — Never found any rhythm and looked a bit off the pace for most of the evening. United will need him to be more effective if they have any hope of being consistently competitive.

LW Sam Nicholson, 6 — Provided endless hustle and even created a few chances on his own. Solid considering the performance around him.

CAM Kevin Molino, 8 — People will look back on this game and praise Molino heavily as they should. His two goals were both of a very high magnitude of difficulty and came completely against the run of play. But it should be noted that prior to that he struggled to have any impact on the game and his touch looked shoddy, hopefully he proved he just needed 80 minutes to fully shake off his offseason rust.

ST Abu Danladi, 5 — Looked dangerous in the few minutes he did play and harassed the San Jose defenders to good effect. Had to leave due to an apparent hamstring injury.


ST Christian Ramirez, 6 — Came on for Danladi in the ’29. Stymied like the rest of the squad, but played an important part in Molino’s first strike.

RW Miguel Ibarra, NA — Came on for Finlay. Provided much needed fresh legs and added energy.

CM Collen Warner, NA — Came on for Ibson. Had little to do, but nearly tied the game with the final shot of the game.


The Stage is Set: Lynx Host Chicago Sky to Begin WNBA Playoffs
By Mitchell Hansen - Sep 25, 2021
Underappreciated and Underrated, Sylvia Fowles is Rising Above it All in Historic Year
By Mitchell Hansen - Aug 27, 2021

Loons Low on Players and Goal-Scoring During Busy Week

While Minnesota United FC’s 1-0 loss at home to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday evening was an unfortunate result, the circumstances surrounding it provide some measure […]

Continue Reading