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NPSL North Roundup; Week 1

Duluth FC hosted Sioux Falls Thunder in the NPSL North’s Opening Weekend Match

Duluth FC Midfielder Carlyle Junior puts a shot past Sioux Falls Thunder keeper Mynor Enriquez in their opener at Duluth East HS
Bill Garrett Photography/Duluth FC Twitter (@DuluthFC)

Week 1:

Duluth FC vs. Sioux Falls Thunder

Duluth hosted the Sioux Falls Thunder on May 5th, kicking off the NPSL North’s third season. Duluth came into the match with minimal preparation time, with several players arriving less than three days before the game. That didn't stop the BlueGreens from getting off to a good start for 2019, as new names Ronaldo Fortune and Carlyle Junior both scored in the 4th and 23rd minutes respectively.

The two goals would be the only for the full 90 and Fortune, who had arrived the night before, would be awarded MOTM for registering a goal and assist on his club debut. Sioux Falls showed they could play, as they have in the past, and did earn two threatening free kicks on the edge of the box, but Duluth goalkeeper Alberto Ciroi had little to do throughout the match. He would eventually sub out for Sullivan Lauderdale, who helped the BlueGreens to an eventual clean sheet home opener.

Last night Duluth FC took on Des Moines Menace in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, our own Dominic Jose Bisogno has a fantastic recap of the match you can check out here.

Week 2 Schedule*:

With only 7 teams in the conference this season, Week 2 sees the first full slate of action across the North with 3 games. Med City FC will have to wait until Week 3 this season for their first NPSL North match of 2019. They will take on the UPSL’s Granite City FC in a friendly at home on Saturday.

Sioux Falls Thunder FC vs La Crosse Aris FC

Coming off of a tough away lose to Duluth, in which Sioux Falls showed strong qualities in the midfield and saw goalkeeper Mynor Enriquez make several remarkable saves, the South Dakota-club will look to restart with a home match against La Crosse Aris. Aris, who maintain a poor record in terms of league results, will present Sioux Falls with a chance to show their potential against a weaker side this weekend, though the Thunder will need to avoid becoming complacent, as Aris have shown in the past they have the ability to get a point or two when clubs lose focus.

May 16, 2018 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Sioux Falls Thunder FC forward, Manny Quiro (20) escapes a slide tackle by VSLT FC midfielder, Boris Zaraguro (33) during the VSLT FC vs Sioux Falls Thunder FC match at James Griffin Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Sioux Falls Thunder FC forward, Manny Quiro (20) escapes a slide tackle by VSLT FC midfielder, Boris Zaraguro (33) during the 2018 season
Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography

Duluth FC vs Maplebrook TwinStars

With a tough midweek match up against the Des Moines Menace, Duluth will need to continue to work out their best rotations in order to secure three points against the recently-rebranded TwinStars, who fought well with the BlueGreens last year in a 3-3 home draw and a 3-2 away loss. Duluth Head Coach Joel Person has alluded to having the rest of his squad in Minnesota by Saturday and will look to his players to step up despite the tight schedule.

July 7, 2018 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - A TwinStars player controls the ball during the VSLT FC vs Minnesota TwinStars FC match at Highland Park High School Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
A TwinStars player controls the ball during the VSLT FC vs Minnesota TwinStars FC match at Highland Park High School Stadium. (2018)
Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography

Minneapolis City SC vs Dakota Fusion FC

The undefeated conference champions open up their season at home, in Minneapolis after playing in Osseo last year, having retooled again for a fresh push at silverware. They face a Fusion side led by a new coach, Jonahtan Melendez-Soloaga, and a big question mark over who will make up their squad, trying to avoid a repeat of last year's drubbing. While there is no doubt City will be a team to watch this season, Saturday’s match may provide a look into just how different, similar, and deadly the Crows will be in 2019.

June 30, 2018 - Osseo, Minnesota, United States - Minneapolis City SC defender Max Kent (22) heads the ball out of the box during the Minneapolis City SC vs Duluth FC match at John Hansen Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Minneapolis City SC defender Max Kent (22) heads the ball out of the box during the Minneapolis City SC vs Duluth FC match at John Hansen Stadium. (2018)
Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography

*For exact kickoff times, locations, and tickets, visit the websites of the home club, which can be found by clicking the italicized team.