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Breaking down Robin Lod’s record-setting goals for Minnesota United

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Breaking down Robin Lod’s record-setting goals for Minnesota United

Odds in 2019 that Robin Lod would become Minnesota United’s leading scorer in MLS regular-season games would have been a mile long.

The Finnish attacking midfielder had arrived from Sporting Gijon in Spain’s second division that August and didn’t score a single goal in 582 league minutes his first season with the Loons. There was sticker shock toward his nearly $1 million salary.

But Lod has become the team’s most-consistent scorer over the past three seasons. The 29-year-old Finn lacks flash, but his fundamentals are refined, especially if he gets the ball on his favored left foot in the 18-yard box.

Lod broke a four-way club-record tie for most MLS regular-season goals in Sunday’s 2-1 victory at FC Dallas. He has 22 total goals: seven in 2020, nine in 2021 and already six this season.

“He’s a quality player, quality man, great professional,” manager Adrian Heath said Sunday. “… He’s been a terrific pick up for us. I couldn’t thank him enough for what he has done for us all.”

Heath defended Lod’s early struggles in 2019, which came on the heels after the Spanish season which ran from August 2018-May 2019. But Heath also seemed to do Lod a disservice by playing the left-footer on the left side of the attack, where it’s more difficult to cut inside and be goal dangerous.

Lod was later flipped to the right side as part of a three-man attacking midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and has stepped in to a striker role both now and during the club’s run to the Western Conference final in 2020. Minnesota also has asked Lod to play central midfield sporadically.

Here’s a look at Lod’s key goals while wearing Minnesota’s black and blue colors:

OPENING HOPE

Lod’s first goal for Minnesota came in a massive moment in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup final. Trailing 2-0 to start the second half, he made a near-post run to get on the end of Kevin Molino’s cross and his right-footed finish gave the Loons hope they could raise the first trophy of its MLS era.

The Loons couldn’t find a second goal and lost 2-1 to Atlanta United. While this goal doesn’t count for his MLS totals, it gave a reason to believe Lod could finish in front of net in future years.

SPARK A RUN

In the first round of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, Lod slotted in a left-footed shot inside the post to stake the team to a 2-0 lead over Colorado Rapids. It’s his go-to shot.

While it was Lod’s only goal of the three-game playoff run, it put the momentum in the Loons’ direction.

WINNERS

Minnesota infamously started 0-4 last season, but Lod built his team-high nine goals in some big moments to get them back in the playoffs.

Lod’s 94th-minute goal was the difference in a 1-0 win over FC Dallas in May; his 81st-minute finish led to a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders in July, and his 85th-minute goal was instrumental in a 2-1 win over Portland Timbers a week later.

On Decision Day, Lod was lurking at the back post and roofed a shot on a corner kick that helped lead to a 3-3 draw with L.A. Galaxy and a spot in the playoffs for a third straight season.

FASTEST

The Loons sliced open the Houston Dynamo with Lod’s lethal run and goal only 51 seconds into a 2-0 win last September. It stands as the quickest goal scored in the club’s MLS era.

SOME FLASH

Lod has only one goal outside of the 18-yard box with MNUFC, and the majority of his tallies are left-footed finishes or doorstep tap-ins that are not in contention for goal of the week awards. But he did nutmeg former Loons defender Wyatt Omsberg before a goal in April.

WHAT AND WHERE

Lod has scored 71 percent of his MNUFC goals with his left foot, 25 percent with his right foot and 4 percent with his head.

Exactly one-third (33 percent) of Lod’s goals have come inside the 6-yard box, with 63 percent elsewhere in the 18-yard box and 4 percent from long range.

He has scored 46 percent of his goals in open play, 29 percent on counter attacks and 25 percent on set pieces, including his record-breaker off a rebound from Emanuel Reynoso’s free kick.

BIGGER RECORD

When counting goals in the U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup Playoffs, Lod still has some work to do to reach No. 1 in Loons records.

Darwin Quintero scored six goals in the club’s run to the Open Cup final and won the national tournament’s golden boot for top scorer. But the player known as the Scientist did not score in the MLS Cup Playoffs. He leads MNUFC’s list with 27 total goals in all competitions.

Kevin Molino scored four times in the 2020 playoff run but didn’t get on the score sheet in the Open Cup, putting him second in all competitions with 25 goals.

Lod has one goal apiece in Open Cup and MLS Cup Playoffs, so he has climbed to 24 total, putting him four away from taking the overall mark.

Lod has five goals in his previous six games and leads the team with six overall this season. He is well on his way to putting separation between himself and the rest of Loons’ scorers.

TWENTY CLUB

Minnesota United’s 20-goal scorers across all competitions since 2017:
(Player: regular season + U.S. Open Cup + MLS Cup Playoffs = career total)

Darwin Quintero: 21 + 6 + 0 = 27
Kevin Molino: 21 + 0 + 4 = 25
Robin Lod: 22 + 1 + 1 = 24
Christian Ramirez: 21 + 0 + 0 = 21
Ethan Finlay: 19 + 1 + 0 = 20

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Sept. 1 trial status hearing scheduled for teen in killing of Chippewa Falls girl, 10

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Iliana (Lily) Peters family photo

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin teenager accused of killing a 10-year-old girl will find out in September whether he will stand trial.

Chippewa County Circuit Judge Benjamin Lane on Friday scheduled a Sept. 1 preliminary hearing for the 14-year-old boy, identified in court documents as C.T.P.-B. That’s the step in the criminal justice process where a judge determines if enough evidence exists to bind a defendant over for trial.

The body of Iliana (Lily) Peters, 10, was found in the woods near her aunt’s house in Chippewa Falls, Wis., on April 25, 2022, the day after her father reported her missing. (Courtesy of the Chippewa Falls Police Department)

The boy was charged in adult court on April 27 with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 in connection with the killing of Iliana Peters, who was known as Lily. Anyone who is at least 10 years old and is accused of first- or second-degree homicide is considered an adult in Wisconsin’s court system.

Lily disappeared on the night of April 24 as she was riding her bike home from her aunt’s house in Chippewa Falls, according to the criminal complaint. Searchers found her body in the woods the next morning.

The boy told investigators that he was riding his hoverboard alongside Lily on a trail and he intended to sexually assault and kill her, according to the complaint.

He asked Lily to leave the trail and explore the woods with him. According to the complaint, he told investigators that once they were off the trail, he punched her, hit her with a stick and strangled her before he sexually assaulted her body.

The boy’s attorney, Michael Cohen, told Lane on Friday that he was upset that someone posted a video online that included recordings of police communications in the moments Lily’s body was found and that characterized the boy as a “little monster.” Cohen alleged that someone in law enforcement leaked confidential information to the poster and demanded the judge issue a gag order. He didn’t specify against whom, though.

Lane asked Cohen for the link to the video and stated that anyone with access to investigatory materials should keep them confidential and their release could jeopardize the boy’s right to a fair trial.

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Sainted & Tainted: Half of my summer is gone because you didn’t yield

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Sainted & Tainted: Half of my summer is gone because you didn’t yield

Tainted & Sainted

Tainted: June 3, between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. at Johnson Parkway and Sixth Street. The male driver in a black pickup didn’t yield to me and crossed into the bike path where I fell under the bike to avoid hitting your truck. All you did was sit in the truck and say you’re sorry. You left as soon as I got off the street. Half of my summer is gone because of this.

Tainted: Whoever designed this bike path. Hardly anyone stops at the stop sign. Just stop at the corner. Many close calls to me and I’ve told all to stop. Maybe put a yield sign or stop signs on the west side of Johnson. They don’t know how to yield.

Sainted: To the one driver who asked if I was OK. Much appreciated. Felt fine at the time but did break my elbow.

Barb Anderson, St. Paul

 

Tainted

I think It would be desirable if those responsible for the St. Paul skyway system could maintain uniform hours for the operation of the system.

They have posted operating hours indicating a close of 11 p.m., but this is contradicted by one posting indicating a 12 p.m. closing. The reality is that neither apply as I discovered this past Saturday when returning to my apartment from a downtown restaurant.

The location in the general vicinity (east) of the Subway operation was closed at 10 p.m. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect uniform operating hours to be observed.

Roger A. Godin, St. Paul

 

Sainted

An incredible Sainted to Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater. I had surgery this past Tuesday and had never been there before. The care I received was phenomenal. The staff was incredible and compassionate.

I was on the first floor and it was like a party when they came in for vitals, etc. Kelly always referred me to as The Boss. Thank you for such kindness and for helping me through such a painful surgery. And an even bigger shout out to my personal paramedics Shawna S. and Mary F.  Thank you both so much for everything. I’d be lost without you.

Laura McGinn, St. Paul

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ASK IRA: Could another Heat run at Kevin Durant be in the cards?

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ASK IRA: Could another Heat run at Kevin Durant be in the cards?

Q: Ira, we’ve been burned by Kevin Durant before. We can’t be fooled into fool’s gold again. – Ian.

A: Look, this whole Brooklyn Nets-will-implode storyline is so bizarre, so speculative, so seemingly preposterous that perspective needs to be toned down all around on the possibilities of both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant departing. But to your question, this also is an opportunity to address the notion of the Heat being “burned” when coming up short in free agency, including when Pat Riley and Micky Arison traveled to the Hamptons in an attempt to woo Kevin Durant during 2016 free agency. It was the same narrative when the Heat “came up short” with Gordon Hayward (and even to a degree the supposed previous “failure” to nab Kyrie). Being mentioned in such speculation means your franchise has earned the respect of players and agents. That is a good thing. The Heat get into the room (unless it’s LeBron’s Las Vegas suite). And if Kevin Durant does attempt to work his way elsewhere, they likely will be back in the room.

Q: Nikola Jovic seems a bit slow footed when I watch his clips. I’d like to see him get serious playing time in Sioux Falls, so he can adjust to the NBA speed. – James.

A: But I’m not sure the G League game, which can be helter skelter at times, is the preferred tempo, either. This could be more along the lines of Omer Yurtseven’s rookie season with the Heat, where it will be mostly developmental, with some as-needed time as warranted/merited. Remember, Nikola Jovic will become the youngest Heat player ever to appear in a game in the franchise’s 35 seasons. That has to be about patience, for more than just foot speed.

Q: Ira, you listed players the Heat passed on to get Nikola Jovic. Who would you have preferred? – Anthony.

A: So basically you’re asking me to trump my preference in the moment at the 2020 draft for Desmond Bane? I’m not sure there is anyone in that category this year. But of those selected after Nikola Jovic (who I think can turn into an inspired choice), I do believe that Patrick Baldwin’s skillset could still yield something special and was curious about E.J. Liddell as a Heat fit. But I don’t believe there is a reason for second guessing when you’re talking about No. 27.

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