Image courtesy of Dan Mick


Nobody’s Perfect: NPSL North Matchweek Two Recap

by on 14 May 2018

The NPSL North had all teams in action for the first time and, already at this early stage in the season, no one is without a mark on their record. Minneapolis City and Sioux Falls both came back and got three points after drawing in the conference opener, Duluth stole a point on the road, and La Crosse Aris picked up where it left off at the end of last season.

Duluth FC 3, Minnesota TwinStars 3
May 12, 2018
Minnetonka High School Stadium (Minnetonka, Minn.)

As was the case in their U.S. Open Cup game against Dakota Fusion, the Bluegreens found themselves down early. This time it was courtesy of Chase Wright’s 15th-minute strike for the TwinStars. Tyler Oliver doubled the lead in the 21st minute as the hosts looked to cruise into halftime. Duluth came out of the locker room hungry for goals and finally got on the board in the 63rd minute with a goal from Kyle Farrar. The turnaround was completed when Ivan Adika leveled things up six minutes later. The TwinStars were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute and Karim Darbaki continued his fine form from the spot. As both teams pushed for another goal, Tyler Oliver’s was called back for being offside in the 83rd minute. The door was left open and Duluth squeezed in. A mishandled ball from TwinStars keeper Ibrahim Touré led to a chaotic sequence that ended in a Dana Kowachek goal and a draw between the two Minnesota teams.

Up next:
Duluth FC at La Crosse Aris, May 19
Minnesota TwinStars vs. Minneapolis City SC, May 16

Med City FC 2, Minneapolis City SC 3
May 12, 2018
Osseo High School (Osseo, Minn.)

Minneapolis City gave up an early goal for the second game in a row, this time in the 6th minute to Claudio Repetto of Med City. The answer from the Crows was not as quick as last week, but it came off the foot of Branden McGarrity, who opened his account for the hosts in the 24th minute. Both teams saw good chances afterward, but the half ended with the teams knotted at one. Seven minutes into the second half, a hard McGarrity shot took a deflection and wound up in the back of the net, giving the hosts a 2-1 lead. It did not last, as some hectic play in front of the Crows’ net ended with a goal credited to Nicholas Itopoulos of Med City. Slightly against the run of play, Minneapolis was awarded a penalty for a handball in the box as the Mayhem tried to block a cross. Martin Browne smashed the ball into the net from the spot and gave the Crows a lead they would not relinquish.

Up next:
Med City FC vs La Crosse Aris, May 16
Minneapolis City SC at Minnesota TwinStars, May 16

VSLT FC 2, Dakota Fusion 2
May 12, 2018
Jim Gotta Stadium (Moorhead, Minn.)

Perhaps still stinging from its loss in the U.S. Open Cup last week, Dakota conceded early at home and found itself immediately on the back foot. Andrew Jenkins opened the scoring for the visitors in the sixth minute, allowing VSLT to relax and boss the game. The lead was doubled shortly after second half play began, this time thanks to Zuheer al Abase. The lead was cut in half just two minutes later with Massimo Baron’s strike for the Fusion. Jade Johnson again showed his immense value when he evened up the scoreline in the 67th minute. Both teams pressed to gain the advantage, but neither were successful, and each came away with a point to open their respective seasons.

Up next:
VSLT FC vs. Sioux Falls Thunder, May 16
Dakota Fusion at Minneapolis City SC, May 19

La Crosse Aris 1, Sioux Falls Thunder 6
May 12, 2018
Yankton Trails Park (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

The argument could be made that La Crosse is showing some signs of improvement, having scored a goal in the first game of the season instead of having to wait until the fourth week of play to get on the board. The defensive woes are still present though, and this week’s beneficiary was Sioux Falls. The Thunder scored early and often, starting with Brice Holiday’s ninth minute hit. Three minutes later, Jared Jochum doubled the lead for the hosts and Holiday made it a first half brace in the 36th minute. La Crosse cut into the lead ten minutes later on an Evan Espelien goal, but it was all the offense they could muster. Natinael Ayalew restored the three-goal lead and Manny Rosas Quiroz added two at the end for good measure. Sioux Falls sits at the top of the table with two games played, unfamiliar territory for the Thunder.

Up next:
La Crosse Aris at Med City FC, May 16
Sioux Falls Thunder at VSLT FC, May 16

NPSL North Standings

Club Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points Possible
Sioux Falls 2 1 1 0 5 4 40
Minneapolis City 2 1 1 0 1 4 40
Dakota Fusion 1 0 1 0 1 40
Duluth 1 0 1 0 1 40
TwinStars 1 0 1 0 1 40
VSLT 1 0 1 0 1 40
Med City 1 0 0 1 -1 0 39
La Crosse Aris 1 0 0 1 -5 0 39


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