Wednesday night, Minnesota United welcomed Everton for a friendly match at Allianz Field in St. Paul. The English side was getting ready to begin its season while taking on a Minnesota team halfway through its MLS campaign.
Jordan Pickford, Dominick Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies featured for Everton along with a host of other traditional starters. Minnesota only made one change from its weekend lineup against DC United — signalling an attempt to make a statement as they took on a side that finished just four points from relegation last year.
After exchanging dangerous attempts over the first 15 minutes, Minnesota earned a penalty kick after a cross hit the hand of Davies. Emanuel Reynoso converted past Pickford, giving the American side an early lead. Some 12 minutes later, another dangerous cross was met by a sliding Michael Keane, who couldn’t help but bundle the ball awkwardly into his own net, doubling Minnesota’s advantage.
now this, this is the ultimate OPE pic.twitter.com/eOUYQOsL7C— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) July 21, 2022
The Toffees attempted to quickly reply as Demarai Gray’s shot from range flashed over the bar in the 35th minute. But just as soon as it looked like Everton could get back into the match, the Loons countered and found a third thanks to Luis Amarilla. After 45 minutes, Frank Lampard's side simply found itself outplayed in the Twin Cities.
better late than never…goal #3 for ya pic.twitter.com/rMKxf27akj
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) July 21, 2022
A full lineup change from Minnesota indicated it was looking beyond today's contest, but on the pitch, the second line of players more than held their own. Everton’s nine halftime changes were still admittedly strong, including Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate and Dele Alli. Despite this, it was Minnesota that eventually found the back of the net to complete a staggering 4-0 drubbing of the Merseyside club.
–> –> GOAL pic.twitter.com/c1Hol4uOFP— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) July 21, 2022
Effectively a training match between both sides' backups, the only other event of note in the second half was a horrific miss from Dele Alli. A cross fizzed in from the wing through the defense and keeper found Dele, mere feet from the goal, but somehow he was unable to turn home. Words simply cannot do it justice.
Dele. How is that even possible pic.twitter.com/HLLNj0CxWJ— All Everton (@AIlEverton) July 21, 2022
Adrian Heath’s men covered themselves in glory, and even with it being a preseason friendly, it may just go some way towards giving MLS another level of recognition from our visitors across the pond.
Minnesota is in action against the Houston Dynamo at the weekend. Everton travels to Blackpool in an effort to get its preseason back on track.