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MN Migration: Colorado and Montreal Advance to Conference Finals

by on 10 November 2016

In this week’s recap of Minnesotans playing professionally: Miller and Mallace move closer to the MLS Cup Final while Akale makes his return to the field.

After falling to the LA Galaxy 1-0 in the first leg of the conference semifinals, Eric Miller and the Colorado Rapids needed to continue their excellent run at home. Team MVP Shkelzen Gashi gave the Rapids the lead in the first half, but that only leveled the aggregate scoreline. The game continued into extra time and was eventually decided with a PK shootout which Colorado won 3-1 thanks to two saves by Tim Howard. Miller put in a solid 120 minutes of play and finished with four interceptions, three clearances, three recoveries, and three tackles. He also nearly set up a game winner in the 104th minute when his cross found the head of Dominique Badji, but Badji was unable to beat the keeper.

The Montreal Impact took a 1-0 advantage to face the New York Red Bulls in their second leg. Like Colorado the Red Bulls had a strong showing at home during the regular season, but a saved PK in the first half and a vital away-goal by Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti in the 51st minute provided a steep climb back into contention. New York did pull level, but the Impact answered with another goal from Piatti to give the Montreal a 3-1 win on aggregate. Calum Mallace entered the game in the 65th minute as Montreal’s first sub. In his 25 minutes Mallace rarely saw the ball, but he was able to make two clearances from his defensive third. The few times he saw the ball in the attack he was unable to connect on a single pass and sent a shot well over the Red Bull’s goal.

This weekend marked the return of Mukwelle Akale for Villarreal C after nearly a month. In a scoreless draw with the leader of Group VI of the Tercera División, Olímpic de Xàtiva, Akale entered the game in the 70th minute, but was unable to help his side break the deadlock between the two undefeated teams. The result keeps Villarreal in third place, but just four point back from top of the group.

Off the field, Tyler David had his option picked up by Saint Louis FC. The Lakeville native appeared in 22 games for St. Louis, scoring a goal in the season finale and adding an assist while playing 837 minutes over the course of the season.

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