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NPSL North Round Up: Week 6

Med City continues it’s run at the top while Duluth jumped Minneapolis City as we pass the halfway point of the 2019 season.

June 1, 2019 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Duluth FC player George Proctor (4) kicks the ball during the Minneapolis City SC vs Duluth FC match at Edor Nelson Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
June 1, 2019 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Duluth FC player George Proctor (4) kicks the ball during the Minneapolis City SC vs Duluth FC match at Edor Nelson Field. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Week 6:

Wednesday:

Med City FC vs Minneapolis City SC

Both Med City and Minneapolis entered the match in the top three in the North standings with a win for either team gaining them a sizable advantage as they would be the top team in the North heading into the Saturday matches. Both clubs would have a tight first half with neither teams being able to score in the first 45’.

Shortly into the second half Francisco Neto got Med City on the board with a 58th minute goal. The Mayhem would hold the lead for most of the second half until Tim Wills got the Crows on the board with an 87th minute goal to tie up the match.

Sioux Falls Thunder FC vs Maplebrook TwinStars

The match between Sioux Falls and TwinStars provided both clubs a chance to change their paths. Sioux Falls have only won one game and sit bottom of the table, tied with Aris. TwinStars have 4 points and have played well enough to probably deserve more. Wednesday proved Maplebrook’s day, though it started well for Sioux Falls, who scored the opener in the 17th minute thanks to Lucas Trimble.

Maplebrook would respond quickly, scoring two goals in the 22nd and 25th minutes. The TwinStars would score two more in the second half to secure a strong 4-1 road win, their first of the season. Sikiru Kareem scored two for the away side and has proven a deadly option for the club and has four goals this season. TwinStars also were helped by their two Duluth FC veterans, Garga Nyuah and Ivan Adika, who played for Duluth in 2017 and 2018. Nyuah grabbed the second goal, while Adika got an assist in the second half.

Saturday:

La Crosse Aris FC vs Med City FC

Aris hosted Med City in a relatively close 3-1 encounter. With both teams scoring in the first 15 minutes, Aris went on to hold Med City to a 1-1 tie until the 77th minute, when Nicholas Itopoulos broke the deadlock. Duvan Garcia added third goal for Med City in the 90th minute and handed the club its fifth win of 2019. Med City are still undefeated, while Aris continue to remind us that they can make you work harder than their record may lead you to believe.

Adhemar Cortez’ strike for Aris was the club’s seventh of the season, putting them just three goals away from scoring at least as many as they did in the entirety of last season (10).

Maplebrook TwinStars vs Dakota Fusion FC

TwinStars avenged their earlier defeat against Fusion with a strong performance, particularly down the right flank. It finished 4-0 but TwinStars have their goalkeeper to thank for two stops in a minute towards the end of the first half, both from Mohamed Osman, for a clean sheet. TwinStars opened the scoring in the 21st minute through Jaafar Abdulrahman’s blast from the edge of the box as a corner was only partially cleared. Kapaw Htoo made it two shortly after half time from an Abdulrahman assist. Garga Nyuah scored the third from a corner in the 65th minute and Lenni Lozano completed a neat exchange of passes across the penalty area from the right in the 75th minute to make it 4-0. By the end of the game, both clubs had subbed in a number of players but the momentum never swung definitively away from the home club, who now face a 10 day layoff before facing Duluth FC. Fusion’s next game is also against the BlueGreens, somewhat sooner on Friday evening.

Sioux Falls Thunder FC vs Duluth FC

Points don’t always come beautifully. That was the case for Duluth this weekend when they traveled to Sioux Falls in search of their third road win. Sioux Falls have only won one game this season, losing every other match. Such was the case as Duluth beat the home side 1-0 and continued their 3-0-0 road record, a vast improvement from their 1-2-0 home record.

The winning goal, however, was not of the eventful kind Duluth have often scored this season. Instead the winner came via an own goal in the 23rd minute. Duluth’s Brooks Rice took a corner, dipping the ball well toward the back post. A Sioux Falls defender tried to clear the ball, only to deflect into his own net. Duluth’s defense played well through a series of strong chances for Sioux Falls and secured their second away clean sheet of the year.

NPSL North Standings after Week 6 of the 2019 season
Ashle Norling/E Pluribus Loonum

Week 7 Schedule*:

Friday:

Duluth FC vs Dakota Fusion FC

Duluth will return home in search of just their second home win in four attempts. Duluth have been better on the road than at home, conceding just one goal in three away games, but scoring seven. Duluth dispatched the Fusion in their last meeting 3-0 and the BlueGreens will be hoping for a similar result at home to kick off the second half of the season. Duluth are currently undefeated and second in the conference.

Saturday:

La Crosse Aris vs Minneapolis City SC

City dominated Aris 5-0 in their last meeting, but the Wisconsin-side will hope that a historic win against the Fusion and a close loss to Med City can inspire a point worthy performance like the 0-0 draw they earned last season. City, meanwhile, will welcome three points as they look to build on their draw against Med City after a disappointing home loss to Duluth the week before.

Med City FC vs Sioux Falls Thunder FC

Med City are the team to beat this season and Sioux Falls haven't faired well against any clubs this year, leaving this match somewhat predictable. With that in mind, Med City left it late against La Crosse Aris and will need to pick things up against Sioux Falls if they want to avoid an unexpected hiccup in what could be their first ever NPSL North conference title.

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