Abu Danladi

@MNUFC

MLS Snapshot: Atlanta United 2-3 Minnesota United

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The game in 100 wordsDown 1-0 and down a man, Atlanta went to work in front of another massive crowd in Atlanta, blissfully unconcerned with it being Tuesday. Abu Danladi scored a nice goal to put Minnesota up, but Hector Villalba nabbed his 13th goal of the season before Providence alum Julian Gressel slashed a Yamil Asad feed home to give Atlanta its first lead of the night. But right when Atlanta looked set to move into pole position for a first round bye, Christian “Stop Calling Up Wondo, Bruce” Ramirez did his thing to level the score and then Kevin Molino turned it into a shock Loons win.

Five moments that mattered

48′ — Danladi stays hot — When Minnesota tabbed Abu Danladi from UCLA with the first pick in the SuperDraft, it was envisioning bullet goals like this (his third in four matches):

67′ — Bad giveaway to the wrong dude — The first of two poor turnovers that led to goals in five minutes, it was Hector Villalba burying his chance:

72′ — Asad, the playmaker — A terrific pass from the Velez Sarsfield loanee was finished with aplomb by the 8th pick in the SuperDraft in Gressel:

90′ — United, Divided — Marking optional for Atlanta, as Ethan Finlay nods a corner in the direction of Christian Ramirez, who does what finishers do by pushing the ball through a mass of Five Stripes players.

90+6′ — Loony finish — Remind Molino to leave these dramatics with his club when he heads to Trinidad and Tobago for a match-up with the USMNT next week.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the Match: Kevin Molino

MLS: Danladi’s double does it for MNUFC; CHI lose 4th straight

Photo credit: Minnesota United / Twitter: @MNUFC
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Chicago Fire joined FC Dallas as former Supporters’ Shield contenders/waning MLS Cup favorites to suffer defeat and extend a horrifically long winless skid on Saturday. While FCD dropped to six games without a win, Chicago fell 2-1 at the hands of Minnesota United, their fourth straight defeat and sixth in seven games. Abu Danladi scored each of the game’s first two goals, the no. 1 overall draft pick’s fourth and fifth this season, as the Loons picked up just their second win in nine games (five losses). The victory, Minnesota’s first away from home since enterting MLS, lifts Adrian Heath’s side three points clear of the Colorado Rapids in the race to avoid the Wooden Spoon (last-place finishers league-wide), while Chicago tumble to fourth after Columbus knocked off FCD to go third.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s MLS roundup — TFC dominant; wild Texas derby ]

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Danladi hits an empty net for 1-0 — Ethan Finlay did most of the hard work here, getting forward and picking out Danladi atop the six-yard box; all the rookie had to do was not blow the open-net chance.

45′ — Danladi pokes it past Lampson for 2-0 — Danladi had considerably more to do for his second, as Jerome Thiesson’s cross arrived 10 yards from goal and at full-stretch. A tough, instinctive finish.

77′ – Accam gets in behind, makes it 2-1 — Bastian Schweinsteiger was brilliant not once, but twice, in setting up David Accam’s goal in the 77th minute. Accam’s apart, the finish, wasn’t exactly simple, either.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Abu Danladi

Goalscorers: Danladi (36′, 45′), Accam (77′)

MLS Snapshot: Minnesota edges Timbers; D.C. tops Atlanta… again

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The game in 100 words (or less): Abu Danladi scored the game-winner on Wednesday night but the rookie striker had about as interesting a six-minute run of play as anyone you’ll see this season. The Minnesota forward notched second goal of the year after the hour mark before being sent off minutes later for a nasty encounter with Sebastian Blanco, who was also dismissed. It was a back-and-forth affair all night, with both sides having their chance to land a punch or two but Adrian Heath’s team moves off the bottom of the Western Conference with their win.

Three four five moments that mattered

7′ — Okugo own goal hands Minnesota lead — Good things happen when you get crosses into dangerous areas, and this was a prime example.

37′ — Valeri buries from the PK spot — It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Diego Valeri doesn’t convert this honestly…

47′ — Ramirez continues to be a goalscoring machine — Yeah, that’s right. Nine goals on the year now for Christian Ramirez. Looks like this guy is going to be just fine in MLS.

50′ — Another own goal… — Francisco Calvo is the unfortunate recipient of this own goal, but again, dangerous crosses pay off.

Man of the match: 

Goalscorers: Amobi Okugo (OG – 7′), Diego Valeri (PK – 37′), Christian Ramirez (47′), Francisco Calvo (OG- 50′), Abu Danladi (64′)


The game in 100 words (or less): For all the things that have gone wrong for D.C. United this season, Ben Olson’s side has actually played well against Atlanta United. That continued again on Wednesday night as D.C. picked up its fifth win of the season behind goals from Luciano Acosta and Patrick Nyarko. Atlanta went ahead inside the opening 20 minutes when Yamil Asad set up Julian Gressel, who tapped home for the visitors. From there, Atlanta had a tough time of it capitalizing on their chances.

Three moments that mattered

17′ — Visitors leave D.C. in the dust for the opener — They make this look so easy… By the way, that’s nine assists on the season for Yamil Asad, who leads the league in that category.

23′ — Acosta equalizes for D.C. — Really sloppy play out of the back from the visitors, and Luciano Acosta made Atlanta pay with his fourth goal of the season.

60′ — Slow to react, Nyarko makes Atlanta pay — That’s some volley from Patrick Nyarko, but where’s the defending from Tyrone Mears? 2-1 D.C.

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Man of the match: Patrick Nyarko

Goalscorers: Julian Gressel (17′), Luciano Acosta (23′), Patrick Nyarko (60′)

MLS Snapshot: Danladi bags goal, assist in 1st start; MNUFC top SKC

Photo credit: Minnesota United / Twitter: @MNUFC
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The game in 100 words (or less): Here’s the most important thing to remember about MLS: no one knows anything, and none of it makes any sense whatsoever. Example no. 9,748,191: 10th-place (and previously incompetent) Minnesota United’s 2-0 victory over one-loss, first-place (coming into the weekend) Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. After a disastrous opening four games in which they conceded 18 goals and looked headed for a record-worst points total in this, their debut season, Adrian Heath has managed to turn things around by jettisoning a handful of overpaid under-performers, and fleecing Colorado Rapids in a trade to acquire Sam Cronin and Marc Burch. The result: just seven goals conceded in their last six games, including Sunday. It should be said, Peter Vermes opted to rest Ike Opara and Graham Zusi, the entire right side of the league’s stingiest defense (three goals conceded in nine games before Sunday), and Minnesota feasted on Kevin Ellis and Igor Juliao, their replacements.

[ MORE: Saturday’s MLS roundup — FCD still unbeaten; Houston 4-0 Orlando ]

Three Two moments that mattered

22′ — Danladi marks his full debut with a goal — Minnesota executed this piece of build-up with the precision of seven years of training ground work on this sequence and only this sequence. Abu Danladi, making his first start, got his first goal.

38′ — Ramirez heads home Ibarra’s cross for 2-0 — Once again, everything for Minnesota comes down the right side of Sporting’s defense. They made it look (too) easy. Danladi, by the way, notched an assist on the play.

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Man of the match: Abu Danladi

Goalscorers: Danladi (22′), Ramirez (39′)

MLS Draft: Minnesota take Danladi with first overall pick

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After much speculation about trading the #1 pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Minnesota has stuck to its guns.

Prior to its first season in Major League Soccer, Minnesota United kept the first pick and selected Abu Danladi from UCLA. The 21-year-old left his home country of Ghana in 2011 to come to the United States, pursuing soccer and getting an education at the same time. Danladi has been an enigma this draft season. Mock drafts across the nation had him anywhere from first to third to fifth to seventh. He becomes the 5th first overall pick from UCLA.

There were plenty of rumors that Minnesota could trade the pick, with New England most heavily involved, according to numerous reports on social media. Instead, they held strong and took a player with incredible upside.

Syracuse defender Miles Robinson went #2 to Atlanta United, the first Syracuse player ever taken in the top 5 of the draft and only the third ever for the program taken in the first round after Alex Bono and Skyler Thomas two years ago. Robinson is a rising name in the USMNT youth ranks, and is challenging the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers and other big names for a starting spot in the US U-20 team.

Chicago traded the #3 pick to NYCFC in exchange for $250,000 of General Allocation Money to take Akron forward Jonathan Lewis. Houston traded the #4 pick to Portland in exchange for $100,000 of General Allocation Money, an international roster spot, and the #10 pick in order to select Duke’s Jeremy Ebobisse. NYCFC also paid GAM to Seattle for the #16 pick. In the second round, Toronto traded both its early picks to Chicago (26 and 27 overall) for $75,000 of Targeted Allocation Money.

The biggest surprise so far seems to be Houston’s pick of Hofstra midfielder Joseph Holland at #10. Holland is 24 years old and an international, so he seemed to have less value than the position he was taken. The biggest drop seemed to belong to Notre Dame defender Brandon Aubrey, who we had going #6 in our final mock draft, but fell to Toronto near the end of the 1st round.

DRAFT RESULTS

Round 1:

1) Minnesota: Abu Danladi, FWD (UCLA)
2) Atlanta: Miles Robinson, DEF (Syracuse)
3) NYCFC (via Chicago): Jonathan Lewis, FWD (Akron)
4) Portland (via Houston): Jeremy Ebobisse, FWD (Duke)
5) Columbus: Lalas Abubakar, DEF (Dayton)
6) San Jose: Jackson Yueill, MF (UCLA)
7) Vancouver: Jakob Nerwinski, DEF (UConn)
8) Atlanta (via Orlando): Julian Gressel, MF (Providence)
9) Columbus (via New England): Niko Hansen, FWD (New Mexico)
10) Houston (via Portland): Joe Holland, MF (Hofstra)
11) Chicago (via Philadelphia): Daniel Johnson, MF (Louisville)
12) D.C. United: Chris Odoi-Atsem, DEF (Maryland)
13) Real Salt Lake: Reagan Dunk, DEF (Denver)
14) Sporting KC: Colton Storm, DEF (UNC)
15) Colorado (via LA Galaxy): Sam Hamilton, MF (Denver)
16) NYCFC: Kwame Awuah, DEF (UConn)
17) New York Red Bulls: Zeiko Lewis, MF (Boston College)
18) FC Dallas: Jacori Hayes, MF (Wake Forest)
19) Montreal: Nick DePuy, FWD (UC Santa Barbara)
20) New England (via Colorado): Brian Wright, FWD (Vermont)
21) Toronto: Brandon Aubrey, DEF (Notre Dame)
22) Seattle: Brian Nana-Sinkam, DEF (Stanford)

Round 2:

23) Minnesota: Alec Ferrell, GK (Wake Forest)
24) Colorado (via Atlanta): Liam Callahan, DEF (Syracuse)
25) Philadelphia (via Minnesota and Chicago): Marcus Epps, MF (USF)
26) Chicago (via Toronto and Houston): Stefan Cleveland, GK (Louisville)
27) Chicago (via Toronto, Montreal and Columbus): Guillermo Delgado, FWD (Delaware)
28) San Jose: Lindo Mfeka, MF (USF)
29) Vancouver: Francis DeVries, DEF (St. Francis)
30) Houston (via Orlando): Jake McGuire, GK (Tulsa)
31) New England: Napo Matsoso, MF (Kentucky)
32) Portland: Michael Amick, DEF (UCLA)
33) Philadelphia: Aaron Jones, DEF (Clemson)
34) D.C. United: Eric Klenofsky, GK (Monmouth)
35) Real Salt Lake: Justin Schmidt, DEF (Washington)
36) Houston (via Sporting KC): Danilo Radjen, DEF (Akron)
37) FC Dallas (via LA Galaxy): Walker Hume, DEF (UNC)
38) NYCFC: Jalen Brown, FWD (Xavier)
39) NY Red Bulls: Ethan Kutler, FWD (Colgate)
40) FC Dallas: Adonijah Reid, FWD (Canada Soccer)
41) Montreal: Shamit Shome, MF (FC Edmonton)
42) Minnesota (via Colorado and Philadelphia): Thomas de Villardi, MF (Delaware)
43) D.C. United (via Portland and Toronto): Jo Vetle Rimstad, DEF (Radford)
44) Seattle: Dominic Oduro, DEF (FC Nordsaelland)