Sounder at Heart: First of all, congratulations on your first ever playoff birth. What’s this mean for the club? Are you happy to just be here, or is the general feeling around the fan base that this team can accomplish something big this postseason?
E PluribusLoonum: It means so much to the fan base surrounding the club. For those of us that have been following the team since the days of the Minnesota Thunder, it’s been a wild ride. Professional Minnesota soccer was going to fold nine years ago until Dr. McGuire bought the team.
After three years of learning and growing, we’re now in the MLS playoffs, and are competing for the No. 2 seed in the final match of the season. It’s a feel-good story that Minnesota fans have been waiting for, for so long.
There’s an extremely high feeling among everyone that this team really can produce a playoff run this year — if we can get Darwin Quintero to play like he can, this is a team that can compete with the leagues best. Making the run in the playoffs rests on the shoulders of big players like him — he has to show up.
SAH: Before we get to the playoffs, there’s a rather important match on Sunday. The second seed in the West is up for grabs. Ozzie’s return to CenturyLink field. Minnesota has never beaten Seattle. What are you expecting from Sunday’s match?
EPL: The winner of Seattle-Minnesota claims 2nd place, if there is a winner. Both teams want the No. 2 seed, so we all know how good of a game this is going to be — Ozzie returns to the team that he called home for so long. It’s a fun, feel-good game.
I’m expecting Minnesota to roll out with a starting XI that is going to be competitive, fast and cohesive. Morris is in some of the best form he’s had in years, and we all know how dangerous the Sounders are at home. There’s never been a better time to beat the Sounders than now.
SAH: Does it feel like the team’s success this season is more the result of sticking with Adrian Heath and him figuring things out, or the inevitable outcome of significantly improving the team’s spine in the off-season?
EPL: Tell you what: If Minnesota United beats Seattle on Sunday, I seriously think you re-sign Adrian Heath right then and there.
A ton of people disagree with me, but the thing is, he’s good at what he does ... when he has an actual team. This year has been a result of some fantastic additions, but also, three kids finding incredible form and helping this team out of sticky situations. There’s a great core to build from, and it wouldn’t be there without Heath.
There are things we all dislike about managers, where there it be tactics, substitutions, attitudes etc.
Heath knows soccer, simply put. He’s a serious candidate for Manager if the year, and it’s deserved.