PREVIEW: Minnesota United FC at New York Cosmos
Past Meets Present In Historic Matchup Between Minnesota United FC and the New York Cosmos
Minnesota United FC (2W-2T-2L, 7pts) will take to the pitch against one of American soccer’s most storied franchises, the New York Cosmos (2W-3T-1L, 8pts). Minnesota face the North American Soccer League reboot for the first time this weekend, kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CDT at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.
Many Minnesotans will remember the days of the packed Metropolitan Stadium – the largest soccer crowds in Minnesota history, averaging 47,000 fans happened when the Cosmos came to the Met in the late 1970s – when the Minnesota Kicks played the likes of Pele, Beckenbauer and the New York Cosmos. This historic matchup will see a new chapter written Saturday.
Apart from the historical significance, Minnesota enters the contest looking to surpass the Cosmos in the NASL standings with the potential to sit atop the league in the Fall Season and realistically earn a trip to the 2013 Soccer Bowl. “The table is really tight, we recognize that these upcoming road trips are really big for us.” said Minnesota United head coach Manny Lagos. “This weekend is a little different because it’s a rebooted franchise, and we are facing them for the first time, so we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Having earned a point against FC Edmonton at NSC Stadium in a 1-1 draw after going down to 10 men in the 62nd minute, Minnesota will look to improve to three straight matches without a loss.
The Cosmos are coming off a similar result, having drawn 1-1 with the Atlanta Silverbacks, leaving them with 8 points in the Fall Season, just two points shy of NASL league leaders, Tampa Bay.
Minnesota will have their star striker, Pablo Campos back in action after he was forced to serve a one match suspension. This will be a big boost for the club offensively as he is leading the team in goals with 8 – good for 3rd in the NASL – and has also tallied 3 assists.
United has gone with a new 4-4-2 formation the past two matches which has enabled them to control the midfield with strong play from Calum Mallace and Floyd Franks. This strength down the spine of the formation has created space on the wings for speedster Miguel Ibarra and the technically gifted Argentinian Lucas Rodriguez to put opposing defenses on the back foot and allowing room for the forwards to move into goal scoring space.
United is still looking to earn a matter of consistency this season, having started out slowly, but not dropped a match in their last two contests, “It’s been a frantic start to this season for a lot of teams. We have had some good moments, we have had some heartbreaking moments.” offered United coach Manny Lagos, “I think we are learning a lot about ourselves and it’s important that we improve on the things we did well over the weekend and get ready for this challenge because we know its going to be a big one.”
The match kicks off at 6 p.m. CDT. Join our official watch party at Brit’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis or watch LIVE on www.MNUnitedFC.com
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