Johnny Russell dueling - Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United FC - Aug. 22, 2019

The COVID-19 break, among other things, allowed Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath to watch each game from the 2020 season’s early days.

From that process, one major takeaway was being impressed by Sporting Kansas City, the way-early Supporters’ Shield leaders with a 2-0-0 record and plus-six goal differential, one more than Minnesota. 

“I had plenty of time to watch everybody, and certainly I thought along with ourselves, the most impressive team was Sporting,” Heath said on the latest Behind the Loon podcast. “I thought their opening day performance away at Vancouver was outstanding, exceptional. We always know it’s going to be tough against them, we know what to expect, their shape, 4-3-3. They get their wide guys in, get the fullbacks nice and high and play with a lot of energy.”

Those comments frame the Group D opener at the MLS is Back Tournament, when the Western Conference leaders will clash July 12 at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.