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Four games in, Minnesota United looks historically bad

Not even a snowy debut stopped the other team from rolling through Minnesota's defense.

Not even a snowy debut stopped the other team from rolling through Minnesota's defense. Andy Witchger

Got a sports fan friend who's reluctant to follow soccer because it's "too boring," and there "aren't enough goals"?

Take him to the next Minnesota United FC game! There should be plenty of goals!

Unfortunately for the diehard local fanbase, way too many of those goals are going in for the other team. A historic amount, so far. 

The brand new Major League Soccer franchise has allowed 18 goals through its first four games this year. As Fox Sports reports, that's a record amount for so few games — and would also set the record for most goals surrendered through six games, even if Minnesota (0-3-1) doesn't allow a single goal in either of its next two contests. 

The Loons hit the ignominious mark during Saturday's 5-2 thrashing by the New England Revolution. A combination of injuries, suspensions and international team call-ups meant Minnesota's roster was missing 10 players, Fox notes, six of them "potential starters."

But that doesn't explain Minnesota's porous defense in three other games, including a 6-1 loss to Atlanta United, another expansion team, which humiliated Minnesota in its snowy first home game earlier this month.

With six goals in four games — half of those coming in a 2-2 tie against the Colorado Rapids — Minnesota's far from the bottom of the MLS offensive table. (D.C. United has yet to score a goal in three games.) In fact, it's not even the case opposing teams are dominating Minnesota end-to-end and whistle-to-whistle. 

In its three losses, Minnesota's had more possession than their opponents, and in total, United are even on shots taken (49-45). It's just that Minnesota's opponents are getting a few more of those shots on goal (23, to Minnesota's 16)...and almost all of those are going in. Minnesota goalkeeper John Alvbage has, in two starts, saved three shots and allowed 10 goals; goalie Bobby Shuttleworth has appeared in three games, stopping two shots, and letting eight get by him.

The Loons get another chance to right the ship with a home game against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Upside: Salt Lake is the second-worst offensive team in MLS, with a single goal through four games.

Downside: If even they manage to light up Minnesota, it becomes increasingly statistically apparent that Minnesota just sucks.