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Minnesota United’s defense makes club history in 1-0 shutout over Columbus

Minnesota United supporters celebrate following the game against Columbus Crew SC at Allianz Field on Saturday, May 18. Brace Hemmelgarn / USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota United’s defense held the Columbus Crew to zero shots on goal in a 1-0 win Saturday at Allianz Field. It’s the first time the Loons haven’t conceded an attempt on net across the club’s 80-game tenure in MLS.

The Loons achieved it without starting center back Ike Opara, who was out with a knee injury, and with Miguel Ibarra, regularly a winger, making his first start at left fullback.

The Crew, who have scored five goals in a 1-7 stretch over the last month, managed only four total shots, one in the second half. Columbus midfielder Federico Higuain had a shot hit the post in the first half.

“We are doing a good job as a team of everybody getting behind the ball,” said United center back Brent Kallman. “… We are making it tough for teams to break us down and it shows.”

In their last four home games, Minnesota has conceded one goal, a tremendous strike from outside the 18-yard box by Seattle’s Cristian Roldan in a 1-1 draw May 4.

Minnesota has given up one shot on goal in eight different games in its two-plus years in MLS.

Ibarra and Molino

When Ibarra made his Allianz Field debut April 24, he was the Loons’ best attacker in the second half against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Less than a month later, Ibarra joined Minnesota United’s defense. He played this role as a second half sub in the 2-0 loss to Chicago last weekend.

With right back Romain Metanire garnering more attention from opponents in recent weeks, United coach Adrian Heath seeks a balance on the other side.

Ibarra paired with left winger Kevin Molino, who will make his second start and third appearance in his continual comeback from knee surgery last March.

Metanire missed Friday’s training session to be at the hospital while his wife gave birth to a boy named Isayah. He returned to the starting lineup.

Also, Loons goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth’s wife gave birth to a daughter named Quinn. He is out with a knee injury.

Briefly

Former United center back Francisco Calvo’s defensive mishap Saturday allowed San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski to tie the MLS record for goals scored. Calvo, who was traded to Chicago on May 3, failed to mark Wondolowski in the 6-yard box before he capitalized for his 145th league goal in 338 games. Wondolowski finished with four goals in a 4-1 win over the Fire. … Collin Martin has played 253 minutes across three starts while on loan with the Hartford Athletic of the USL Championship this season.

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