MATCH PREVIEW: Minnesota United FC vs Tampa Bay Rowdies
Minnesota United heads home after earning its first win of the Fall Season last week, a 3-1 victory over the Strikers at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale. This Saturday, United look to build momentum and keep the streak alive at National Sports Center Stadium as the Tampa Bay Rowdies come to town. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CDT.
United got on the winning track last week, thanks to a flurry of activity in the second half – an 8 minute stretch saw 3 goals, two from Minnesota and one from the Strikers – though one of United’s goals came from the head of Strikers defender Rafael Alves into his own net. Pablo Campos put the game out of reach in stoppage-time with a strike from the top of the box, giving Minnesota a much-needed win.
United head home on Saturday, a venue that has not been kind in recent bouts, having lost their only 2 regular season matches at NSC Stadium in 2013 without scoring a goal. United defeated FC Edmonton 2-0 in the Schwan’s Cup USA Pro Classic in July.
“We had a nice road win and now we have to carry that momentum into this weekend,” offered United head coach Manny Lagos on his team returning home. “We haven’t played great at home in the past couple months and so we have to take the field and embrace the challenge and face a strong Tampa Bay club.”
The Rowdies are coming off a 0-0 draw with the New York Cosmos, a week after putting up 7 goals against the Scorpions in San Antonio.
Minnesota split a pair of 3-2 games with the Rowdies in the Spring Season, each time the away team walked away with three points. United will look to buck that trend this week and continue their recent form. This matchup comes with some ancillary storylines, as each team exchanged players – United getting Rowdies veteran forward, Mike Ambersley and the Rowdies claiming United forward Etienne Barbara. Ambersley made his debut for Minnesota last week, playing the final 9 minutes. Barbara made his Rowdies debut in the Fall opener, tallying a goal, an assist and a yellow card in the Rowdies 7-4 win over the San Antonio Scorpions.
The Rowdies will be without stalwart midfielder, Luke Mulholland after he was given a pair of yellow cards last week, one in the 37th minute and one in the 93rd, leading to a red and single game suspension. Tampa Bay will also be without the services Amani Walker who tore his ACL in the match against the San Antonio Scorpions.
Join the raucous United fans on Saturday and don’t forget to bring, we have great group rates available. Call 763.331.8777 or head to www.MNUnitedFC.com to get tickets.
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