Minnesota United led Saturday’s game at FC Dallas into the 68th minute but walked out of the hot Texas night still winless at Toyota Stadium in suburban Frisco after a 1-1 draw.
This time, the Loons took home a point from the road with which coach Adrian Heath isn’t about to quibble, even though he suggested his 11th-place team could have scored two, three or more goals against the Western Conference 13th and last-place team.
“You can never, ever be disappointed with a point on the road,” Heath said.
Except for Saturday, when he sounded like a man disappointed his team didn’t score more than newcomer Franco Fragapane’s first MLS goal in his first MLS game in the 36th minute.
“I’ve got to tell you: I thought we had enough chances to win by two or three goals,” Heath said. “On a different day, we could have won the game quite comfortable, I feel. You don’t go on the road very often and create really good opportunities like we had.”
Fragapane’s goal created by former FC Dallas player Jacori Hayes’ midfield thievery and recently acquired striker Adrien Hunou saved shot that goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer couldn’t contain stood until the home team changed its personnel, its shape and its urgency after halftime.
FC Dallas pushed forward time and again and the Loons couldn’t answer with a successful counterattack, although they tried many.
Teenager Ricardo Pepi’s clever, give-and-goal goal pulled FC Dallas even and kept them there the rest of the 90-degree night.
Hayes played three seasons in Dallas and knows all about that team and the Texas heat. FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez made five lineup changes Saturday to help his last-place team that nonetheless is undefeated in five home games this season.
“Dallas definitely is a tough place to play come summertime,” said Hayes, who trained in slightly higher heat in Minnesota in the three weeks since the Loons last played a game. “We’re definitely pleased with a point. I thought we played a really good game, but there was more in there for us.”
BOXSCORE: Loons 1, FC Dallas 1
Until Saturday, the Loons were 0-4 at FC Dallas since they joined MLS in 2017. On Saturday night, they flew home with a point that gives them two victories and two draws in their past four games after they started the season 0-4 unexpectedly.
They played to a draw Saturday without starters Robin Lod and Jan Gregus as well as defender Jukka Raitala. All three are playing for either Finland or Slovakia in the UEFA Euro Championships overseas.
“I’m pleased for players, another game without a defeat for them, four games now,” Heath said. “A huge game Wednesday [against Austin FC at a full Allianz Field]. Now we have to make the most of that.”
The Loons hadn’t played since a comeback 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake over Memorial Day weekend. They also were playing for only the second time in five weeks, with Fragapane making his MLS debut and playing alongside Hunou for the first time.
They both started and played into the second half while star midfielder Emanuel Reynoso started on the sideline as a designated sub after he had rested and rehabbed for three weeks during a FIFA international scheduling window.
Reynoso had his chances to score at least one more goal for Minnesota United, just as Fragapane had more than this successful one before he was subbed out of the game.
“Good, good,” Fragapane said about his debut in Spanish through a team translator. “The truth is, it was beautiful to play and be able to score a goal for the team. Honestly, I felt good and little by little I’m starting to feel better.”
The Star Tribune did not travel for this game. This article was written using the television broadcast and video interviews before and/or after the game.