Minnesota United manager Adrian Heath has insisted that lesser-used attacker Adrian Huno will get a chance this season. That opportunity came on Saturday and the French forward did not take advantage of it.
With forwards Robin Laud and Luis Amarilla sick, Hunou made his first MLS debut of the season, but was ruled out after a mostly ineffective 57-minute shift.
FC Cincinnati’s top goal scorer Brandon Vasquez scored in third-minute stoppage time for a 1–0 win on the night at Allianz Field.
Minnesota (4-4-2) have now dropped points in half their home games this season. Wins over Chicago, Colorado and San Jose are offset by defeats with Seattle, Cincinnati and draws with Nashville.
Cincinnati (5-5-1) played a back-five defense, which Minnesota struggled to break.
Loons goalkeeper Dene St. Clair made five saves to keep Minnesota in the line.
The Loons were 3-0 vs Cincinnati in MLS games since 2019, but with two victories over struggling Toronto FC last week, Cinci has won three consecutive MLS games since joining the league in 2019.
Hunou, Minnesota’s most expensive player with $2.5 million in 2021, played a total of 20 minutes in four games and did not play in five other games. While remaining sober with the first team, he played for MNUFC2, the club’s developmental team, starting on April 17 in a 45-minute tuneup against Colorado Rapids 2.
Four days later at the US Open Cup, Hunu started, scoring a goal and hitting four shots on target in an 86-minute innings in a 2–0 victory over USL League One club forward Madison.
Coming to Saturday, he had played a total of 20 minutes in four matches and had not played in five other MLS games.
In his debut, Hunu had a chance to score a goal in the first half, but his first touch dropped him to an Abu Danladi’s cross, which blocked the shot by Cincinnati’s Nick Haglund.
Cincinnati was without brainer Souza da Silva due to a back injury. The Brazilian striker, who was acquired for a transfer fee of $13 million and paid $1.76 million in 2021, has not scored in 362 minutes this season.
The lack of goals from the expensive attackers left a gap for most of Saturday.
Minnesota controlled the game for the opening 15 minutes, but Cincinnati had two of the best scoring chances in the next five, with Claire needing a lung save on Dominic Badjie and Brandon Vazquez with a shot from the post. St. Clair saved Budgie’s shot from squirting from under himself in the 43rd minute to remain goalless.
With five crosses, two corners and a couple Emanuele Reynoso free kicks, the Lunes had 70 percent possession, but Cincinnati’s last five proved difficult to break.
Benefiting from a clever through ball by Emanuele Reynoso, Bongi Hlongwein was behind the Cincinnati defense but couldn’t pull the trigger fast enough.
In the first half, Hunou’s expected target was 0.15 and Halongwen was 0.16. St. Clair’s had X-goals against 0.72.
Amarilla and his wife Sylvie gave birth to their first child, a son named Luca, on Saturday. Louis began feeling ill before leaving Friday’s training session to be with Sylvie, who had gone into labor. …… MNUFC CEO Shari Ballard spent part of the game standing with staunch supporters at The Wonderwall on Saturday. … Nico Hansen made his first MLS appearance on Saturday. He scored for Bongi Halongwane in the 63rd minute.