It was fitting Adrien Hunou, Robin Lod and Franco Fragapane each scored for Minnesota United in its 3-2 win over Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night; that trio was the topic of conversations after the MLS Players Association released its latest salary information in the morning.
There was sticker shock over Hunou’s guaranteed compensation of $2.58 million, more than double any Loons player. That was on top of a transfer fee of more than $3 million, and those figures were put in contrast to the Frenchman’s five goals this season.
In 2019, it was Lod’s nearly $1 million salary and low production that turned heads. But it was Lod’s solid second season in 2020 that has some taking a wait-and-see approach on Hunou, who has three years on his contract.
At the other side of the spectrum was Fragapane’s paltry $142,500 salary and impressive 11 goals in 2021.
They all showed their worth against Philadelphia at Allianz Field. Hunou scored first to give the Loons the first-half lead, Lod brought them back to a tie in the 63rd minute and Fragapane provided the winner in the 67th.
The Loons' comeback also required that they grind out the game after right back Romain Metanire’s red card for throwing the ball at the head of Kai Wagner in the 78th minute.
Minnesota (12-10-8) won its second straight game while ending a six-game unbeaten run for Philadelphia (12-9-10).
Hunou’s goal beat Union goalkeeper Andre Blake near post, a rare concession at that spot from the 2020 MLS goalkeeper of the year. The play was assisted by Fragapane and Emanuel Reynoso. Chase Gasper’s intervention in the Philadelphia defensive third set it up.
Four minutes after Hunou’s goal and just before halftime, Minnesota conceded the equalizing goal. Daniel Gazdag’s strike from the top of the box was in the spot Wil Trapp likely should have been hustling to help defend.
Loons goalkeeper Tyler Miller couldn’t get enough to parry away on a Union corner kick, and Gazdag was credited with his second goal in the 54th.
Lod’s blast of a goal came off a great back-heel assist from Reynoso, and Fragapane’s was a header off a rebound of Hunou’s shot denied by Blake.
Manager Adrian Heath made two changes to the starting XI from the 1-0 win over Austin FC on Saturday: Ethan Finlay came in at right wing and Wil Trapp was back at holding midfielder.
The first 40 minutes didn’t have a lot of action, and the Bally Sports North streaming feed wasn’t working, but the last 50 minutes sure had enough action, and they were trying to promote it on social media.