Rochester, MN – Twinstars assistant coach Karim Darbaki was the stand-in head coach on Saturday when the Twin Cities team earned a point against Med City FC in Rochester.
It was a rough and tumble game, with some diving — one player feigned injury on the Twinstars team before getting up when his team had possession, and the ref yelled at another to get up after going down easily.
But in spite of a match against Minneapolis City SC causing some concern for its physicality, Darbaki said the Twinstars are not the team some people think they are.
“We like to move the ball; we prefer to avoid contact,” Darbaki said. “We’re not a team looking out to run and gun and just create chaos. That’s not us. We prefer a smooth, controlled game, and I would say what they’re saying doesn’t depict us very well.”
And it was a moment of beauty that produced the tying goal for the away team. A poor short clearance saw Adama Keita control the ball and blast a low drive just outside the 18-yard-box off the post and into the goal to tie the game 72 minutes in.
Med City had held a lead since early in the first half, and in what has been the theme of its season, had much of the ball in the attacking third and chances to triple their lead.
First there was a chance just before the hour mark, and then another chance in the 70th minute saw Niklas Roessler charge behind the defense for a one-on-one chance the goalkeeper saved. In the dying minutes of the game Med City nearly scored on a flicked chip over the goalkeeper that hit the side netting.
The profligacy in front of goal has cost Med City more than once this season.
“Overall I think we created chances, which is good,” Med City head coach Neil Cassidy said. “We’re getting into position… it’s a little technical thing. Two mishits. It happens in the pro game as well. We just got to make sure we talk about the confidence, we build them up so their confidence doesn’t become an issue.”
Medics defender Andrew Wilkinson hopes his team wasn’t up at 5 a.m. that morning watching the World Cup.
“I don’t know (if they were watching),” Wilkinson said when pressed. “If so, I wouldn’t be happy,” he laughed.
On a serious note, Wilkinson, who is new this year, said the team has taken a while to get to know how to play with each other, but that there has been an improvement.
“It’s tough — I thought we played really well,” he said. “I thought in the first half we dominated.
“We are getting better and looking a lot more solid.”