Losing a cup final can have a drastic impact on form for some clubs, but since being defeated in the US Open Cup final by Atlanta United at the end of August, Vito Mannone’s Minnesota United have responded well, only losing one of their next six matches in all competitions, picking up three wins in that time.
Last Sunday saw the Loons travel to Portland, but this game ended 0-0, with Minnesota maybe counting themselves a little lucky not to lose, relying on the Reading loanee to keep them level. Mannone was brilliant against Portland, putting in a man-of-the-match performance.
Wednesday night however provided a much more entertaining game, with Minnesota picking up a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City. The visitors took an early lead with Botond Barath scoring after seven minutes. The home side equalised with twenty minutes to go, and in the last minute of normal time they grabbed the goal that would go on to prove to be the winner.
The Loons did have a man sent off in added time but this had no negative impact on the result. Mannone once again put in a solid performance, helping his side to victory, and he is proving to be an integral part of Adrian Heath’s side who have now secured their place in the MLS playoffs.
After winning their first two games of the season, Modou Barrow’s Denizlispor have now gone on a run of no wins in three in the Super Lig. Saturday saw the newly promoted side rescue a point in a 1-1 draw away to Kayserispor, in a match the visitors will feel they actually should have won. Barrow once again started on the left hand side for Denizlispor but had little impact in the game before being substituted with just over twenty minutes to go. Five minutes later and his side grabbed a deserved equaliser but were unable to push on to get a winner.
On Wednesday night, Denizlispor won 4-0 away from home at third-tier side Hacettepe in the third round of the Turkish Cup. Barrow did not feature in the matchday squad.
In League One, Marc McNulty has found the net a few times since we last checked in with how he’s getting on at Sunderland. The Scot scored in a 3-1 win at Accrington Stanley and 1-1 draw at home to relegated Rotherham United - his first and (so far only) goals in the league for Jack Ross’ side. However, he wasn’t involved in Sunderland’s 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers or 1-0 cup victory at Premier League Sheffield United.
Sam Smith and Cambridge United are only ten games into the league season, but the fans must be somewhat frustrated as the club just can’t seem to get any consistent form together. Currently in 11th in League Two, Saturday saw the Us defeated at home by Swindon Town 1-0. Sam Smith started the match but was brought off with just under five minutes to go. Swindon deserved to win, but fans will want to see more from the Reading loanee who so far has scored just three goals in the opening ten games.
Scottish youngster Jordan Holsgrove made a surprising switch this summer to spend the season at third-tier Spanish side Atletico Baleares, but if their first five games of league action are anything to go by then this could prove a fruitful one for the Reading loanee (and enjoyable by the looks of the tweet below!). Baleares, who play on the island of Majorca, picked up their fourth win in five in Segunda Division B, scoring with two minutes left to secure all three points. Holsgrove started the game for Atletico, but was brought off with just under 25 minutes to go.
From one change of fortunes to another. After their poor start to the season, Adrian Popa’s Steaua Bucharest had won a couple of games in a row to see them move off the bottom of the table. This past Sunday saw them take on top of the table side CFR Cluj, but with teams coming into the game in good form, almost unexpectedly the match finished 0-0. Adrian Popa started for Steaua in this game, but was brought off at half time in a drab opening 45.
In a battle of two struggling side in the Scottish Premiership, St Mirren hosted Hamilton in a game that finished 0-0, but did see the visitors reduced to ten men. Luke Southwood was an unused sub in this match.
Reading’s relationship with Belgian second tier side KSV Roeselare continues as young centre back Tom Holmes has made the switch to Belgium for the season. This past Friday saw Roeselare lose 2-0 away to Lokeren, with Holmes being an unused sub in this game.
Right-back Tennai Watson hasn’t played any more for Coventry City recently, and was on the bench for the Sky Blues’ 0-0 stalemate with Burton Albion and 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon.
In China, Sone Aluko’s Beijing Renhe aren’t due to return to action until next month.