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MN Migration: Miller and the Rapids Fall Short of the Shield

by on 25 October 2016

In this week’s recap of Minnesotans playing professionally: Eric Miller helps the Colorado Rapids remain undefeated at home and Cody Cropper earns a shutout in his MLS debut.

The Colorado Rapids needed a win in order to have a shot of hoisting the Supporters’ Shield, but ended up finishing the season with a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo. Eric Miller started at right back for the Rapids and spent more time in the attack than defending after the Rapids gave up a goal in the first half. In the 39th minute, Miller nearly set up Kevin Doyle with a cross for the tying goal, but Doyle’s header was tipped over the bar by Joe Willis. Miller continued to push forward, sending in a total of eight crosses on the night, but only two found a teammate. The Rapids did eventually pull even, but could not find the goal they needed to finish at the top of the league settling for an undefeated record at home and 2nd place in the Western Conference.

Three Minnesotans featured in New England’s 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact. For the first time in over a month, Calum Mallace returned to the Impact starting line-up. Mallace was the lone defensive midfielder and finished the game with four recoveries, two clearances, one tackle, and one interception. Offensively Mallace played his usual style of spreading the field with long diagonal passes from a reserved position, but he also ventured farther up field. In the 33rd minute Mallace drifted to the back post of New England’s goal during a corner kick. The service went through a crowd and bounced in front of him, but he was barely able to get his head to the ball and it went harmlessly into the keepers’ hands. It was not the best attempt (it didn’t count as a shot), but there were a number of Revolution defenders between him and his second career goal even if he had gotten clean contact.

On the winning side of the game, Cody Cropper earned his first MLS start and shutout. Cropper didn’t have much to do in the first half, but was tested twice in the second half and responded with a strong save each time. Cropper also cleaned up eight loose balls before the Impact could turn them into dangerous opportunities.

The New England Revolution needed a win and to finish with a +12 GD between their game and the Philadelphia Unions eventual 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. Despite the need for as many goals as possible, Teal Bunbury was left on the bench while the more defensive Scott Caldwell started on the right side of the midfield. Bunbury eventually entered the game in the 80th minute for Kei Kamara after the Revolution were well aware they had no hope of making it into the playoffs. Bunbury didn’t have much time to affect the game, but he did contribute three shots to the 25 shots New England finished the game with.

Villarreal C remain undefeated in league play after beating CD Segorbe 4-0. Despite having yet to lose, Villarreal is sitting third in the table, a point behind second and two points behind first. Mukwelle Akale has not played for the side since being subbed out in their 5-2 win against CF Borriol on the 12th.

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  • Alex Schieferdecker

    Glad to see Cropper get a start. He had a very good second half, with two smart saves. Good to keep a clean sheet as well.

    • Kyle Nelson

      I wouldn’t be too shocked to see him in a fight for the starting role next season. Shuttleworth lost the spot this year and Knighton has never been able to keep his spot as a #1.