CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The undefeated streak is still intact.
Needing a late goal from second-half substitute Will Kidd, Minneapolis City SC (2-0-2) managed a draw on the road Friday night against Cedar Rapids Rampage United (2-1-2). The result kept the Grumpy Cats in second place in the Premier League America (PLA) West, trailing first-place Milwaukee Bavarians on goal differential.
“Take it as a win,” said Minneapolis City coach Keith Kiecker. “On the road, 4 and half hours in the car, 90-degree day, yeah. It was looking like we were going to walk out of here with zero, now we got one.”
“Our guys came out super flat, I think the way that we normally play, this is a 3-0 game. The way we played tonight, we eke out a tie.”
After a converted penalty kick by Gordy Gurson to put the Rampage ahead, Minneapolis chased an equalizer throughout much of the second half. The goal looked like it would not come with the Crows unable to retain possession in the attacking third.
The best remedy for the problem: catch Cedar Rapids on the break.
“I think it was fresh legs. Will Kidd, he just doesn’t stop,” Kiecker said. “Having him in the game, that’s we what we needed all game, to get in behind these guys, and we just didn’t do it.
“The one time we did do it, we get a goal.”
Kidd, making a run from his own penalty area, streaked down the left flank. With a defender on his back, Isaac Friendt flicked Kidd into a one-on-one situation with Rampage United goalkeeper Alex Apodaca. Kidd slotted his shot to the shooter’s right of Apodaca and into the back of the net for the equalizer.
In its first season, Minneapolis is making noise in the PLA West division. The team has allowed just two goals in four games, and is just one of two undefeated teams in the PLA. With City is Milwaukee Bavarians, which Minneapolis tied in its first-ever game back on May 21st, 0-0.
Rampage United, also in its first season of existence, features players that also play on the Cedar Rapids Rampage of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
“These guys play together all year round,” said Kiecker. “When they come to our place, I think it’s going to be a rude awakening for them.”
The draw brings both Minneapolis and Cedar Rapids even with Milwaukee on 8 points. The Grumpy Cats and Bavarians have a game in hand on Rampage United. Minneapolis can take the point in confidence, but needs to find its legs on short rest.
“We had opportunities we needed to put away,” Kiecker said. “We didn’t control the game as much. We had a really a good 15 minutes, but the other 75 was bad.”
The next chance the Crows have at taking the top spot in the PLA West comes Saturday, with a road game against winless Croatian Eagles in Milwaukee.