Captain Midhat Mujic signs autographs following Med City FC's season-opening win. Image courtesy of Louis Garcia.

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And They’re Off: NPSL North Matchweek One Recap

by on 15 May 2017

The NPSL’s new North Conference launched this weekend with all eight teams in action. Med City FC was the lone home side to capture all three points after dismantling La Crosse Aris FC, the Dakota teams squared off with Fusion leaving victorious against Sioux Falls Thunder, and Minneapolis City SC took the inaugural Green Line Derby despite VSLT FC having a man-advantage for three quarters of the game.

 

Minneapolis City SC’s Martin Browne Jr. navigates midfield against VSLT FC.
Image courtesy of Daniel Mick / www.danielmickcreative.com

VSLT FC 1, Minneapolis City SC 2
May 13, 2017
James Griffin Stadium (St. Paul)

Read the longer recap here.

Minneapolis City took three points home from St. Paul (just a 5.6 mile trip) in the conference’s first-ever game, and the first installment of the Green Line Derby. VSLT had the majority of possession early on, with the Crows launching a few quick attacks before goalkeeper Matt Elder was sent off in the 22nd minute for denying a clear opportunity on goal. VSLT were forced to use two first-half substitutions for the injured Alejandro de la Mora and Joshua de la Rosa at the half hour mark, and the opening half ended scoreless. A.J. Albers gave the shorthanded Crows the lead less than five minutes after halftime, heading home a Martin Browne Jr. free kick. Mark Boquin put the hosts level five minutes later when he found just enough space in the chaos in front of the City goalmouth. Play was even from then on but the heat caused some cramping among the players. Minneapolis City head coach Adam Pribyl was ejected in the 80th minute, upset about the consistency around when the game was being stopped for injuries. Pribyl hadn’t been off City’s bench for even a minute before Tim Wills found Javi Alcantara in space, with the latter slotting home the go-ahead goal for the visitors. City held on for the final 10 minutes to record the win.

Up next:
VSLT FC at Minnesota TwinStars, May 20
Minneapolis City SC vs. Duluth FC, May 20

 

Dakota Fusion players celebrate after a goal.
Image courtesy of Dakota Fusion FC.

Sioux Falls Thunder 1, Dakota Fusion FC 3
May 13, 2017
Yankton Trails Park (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Dakota Fusion grabbed all three points in its first competitive game, beating Sioux Falls on the road. The hosts took the lead six minutes on when Houston Hoffman converted from the penalty spot. That lead didn’t last long as Akeem Smith brought Fusion level in the 21st minute. The two westernmost teams in the conference battled it out for 45 more minutes before Adrian Baclawski broke through for Fusion. The lead was extended to 3-1 in the 76th minute by Jade Johnson, a holdover from FC Fargo who had been subbed on in the 56th minute for Isaac Kehson. Dakota Fusion saw out the final 15 minutes and rode home happy.

Up next:
Sioux Falls Thunder vs. La Crosse Aris FC, May 20
Dakota Fusion FC vs. Med City FC, May 20

 

Midfielder Thilo Wilke falls to the ground while scoring Med City FC’s first-ever NPSL goal.
Image courtesy of Louis Garcia.

Med City FC 4, La Crosse Aris FC 0
May 13, 2017
Rochester Regional Stadium (Rochester, Minn.)

Read the longer recap here.

Med City scored early and often en route to a thumping of La Crosse Aris, extending the visitors’ winless streak to 23 NPSL games over four seasons. Thilo Wilke scored the first of his two goals 12 minutes in after connecting with Tiernan Talbot. The hosts doubled their lead a few minutes before halftime when Matu Pazos found Dion Dozzell. Shortly after halftime, Javier Gomez crossed the ball into the box where it eventually was sent in by an Aris defender for an own goal. Wilke finished off his brace and concluded the scoring in the 87th minute, taking a pass from James Larson, who had subbed on for Dozzell. An impressive 1,500 spectators turned out to  see Med City record a win in the club’s first-ever competitive match.

Up next:
Med City FC at Dakota Fusion FC, May 20
La Crosse Aris FC at Sioux Falls Thunder, May 20

 

Duluth FC forward Kyle Farrer attempts to avoid TwinStars keeper Sean Teske.
Image courtesy of Duluth FC.

Minnesota TwinStars 1, Duluth FC 1
May 14, 2017
Minnetonka High School Stadium (Minnetonka, Minn.)

Putting some offseason turbulence behind them, the Dragons gave the visitors from Duluth all they could handle for 75 minutes. Possession was even during the first half, with both teams initiating dangerous-looking but ultimately unsuccessful attacks. Kyle Farrar had the majority of opportunities for Duluth but couldn’t capitalize and the first half ended 0-0. At the hour mark, however, Christian Deaconson launched a counterattack and found Sikiru Kareem on the goal line. Kareem crossed the ball into the box to Baba Oyekan who put it past the keeper. The hosts still had work to do as it was all Duluth from the 75th minute on. Farrar kept the pressure on and found a dramatic equalizer in the 91st minute to rescue a point for Duluth.

Up next:
Duluth FC at Minneapolis City SC, May 20
Minnesota TwinStars vs. VSLT FC, May 20

 

NPSL North standings

Club Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points Possible
Med City 1 1 0 0 +4 3 42
Dakota Fusion 1 1 0 0 +2 3 42
Minneapolis City 1 1 0 0 +1 3 42
Duluth 1 0 1 0 Even 1 40
TwinStars 1 0 1 0 Even 1 40
VSLT 1 0 0 1 -1 0 39
Sioux Falls 1 0 0 1 -2 0 39
La Crosse Aris 1 0 0 1 -4 0 39

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