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NPSL North Round Up: Week 7

Med City continues it’s run at the top of the conference while Duluth and Minneapolis City follow close behind as we enter the final month of the season.

June 1, 2019 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Duluth FC player Damia Viader (18) passes 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 Damia Viader (18) passes the ball during the Minneapolis City SC vs Duluth FC match at Edor Nelson Field. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Week 7:

Friday:

Duluth FC vs Dakota Fusion FC

Having won on the road the week before via a singular own goal early on against Sioux Falls, Duluth headed home in need of some spark up front. The club, after all, hadn't won at home since the opening match of the season. Duluth, it would seem, took this task on quite well as they proceeded to beat the Fusion 7-0. The Fusion defense came up big in enough moments to keep the scoreline from reaching double digits, but they simply couldn't find ways to stop Duluth’s front line from scoring, four in the first half and three in the second.

Carlyle Junior came up big for the BlueGreens. The Brazilian hadn't scored in the league since the opening week of the season. This lack of results didn't stop the multipositional player from scoring four and assisting one against the Fusion. Junior is now Duluth’s top goal scorer. Brooks Rice, Dana Kowachek, and James Westfield all joined Junior on the scoresheet, with the trio adding their second, first, and fourth goals of the campaign respectively. Duluth keeper Sullivan Lauderdale also helped secure another clean sheet for the club, their fourth of the year.

Saturday:

La Crosse Aris FC vs Minneapolis City SC

Minneapolis City entered against La Crosse Aris sitting in third place coming off a draw and loss in their last two matches while Aris is two weeks removed from their only win of the season. La Crosse is usually a fairly easy win for most clubs in the North as they appear to be the conference’s whipping boy. The Crows proved that to be the case again this week with a 4-0 road victory over Aris.

Mark Heydt started it off early for City when he put in a 9th minute goal and then towards the end of the half got a 44th minute goal for the brace. Tim Wells got the third goal of the night for the Crowd in the 76th minute while William Kidd finished off the scoring with a late 88th minute goal.

Med City FC vs Sioux Falls Thunder FC

Conference leading Med City hosted Sioux Falls Thunder for the second and final match of the season series. Med City opened their 2019 campaign with a 2-0 win on the road against the Thunder, who themselves sit second bottom only above La Crosse. A struggling Sioux Falls side would manage to hold the conference leaders to a single point in 2-2 draw.

Tiernan Patrick Talbot managed the first goal of the night to give the hosting Mayhem a 1-0 lead. That lead would only last a few minutes when Brice Holiday got the equalizer for Sioux Falls. 8 minutes later in the 26th minute Lucas Trimble put Thunder ahead with another goal. That lead would last until just past halftime when Med City’s Jack Hilton-Jones put in a second goal for them to tie up the match.

NPSL North Standings after Week 7 of the 2019 season
Ashle Norling/E Pluribus Loonum

Week 8 Schedule*:

Wednesday:

Dakota Fusion FC vs Minneapolis City SC

A struggling Dakota Fusion side will play host to Minneapolis City in a midweek matchup that has serious implications for both sides. Fusion come off a devastating 7-0 loss last weekend in Duluth while the visiting Crows have a nice 4-0 win over Aris to their name from Week 7. 3 points for Minneapolis City will help them catch the unbeaten Med City FC and Duluth FC clubs that sit atop the table. While for Fusion just being able to get a draw off a team that beat them 2-1 earlier this season will be a moral victory.

Maplebrook TwinStars vs Duluth FC

With the TwinStars continuing to rollercoaster between good and bad results, Duluth will see this match as a perfect chance to grab another three road points before they face Med City in a title grappling match. Duluth have yet to drop any points on the road, winning three of their three away games. The TwinStars managed to draw Duluth 2-2 in Duluth, meaning that the BlueGreens will have no excuse to take the match lightly.

Saturday:

Dakota Fusion FC vs Sioux Falls Thunder FC

The second match of the Dakota Derby doesn't feature much on the line but pride compared to other matches this week. While both clubs are not mathematically eliminated from getting into the playoffs the reality is different with the four teams near the top. Fusion came away with a 2-1 win last time the two clubs met each other. A poor performance last weekend and a midweek match for the home side may give Sioux Falls enough breathing room to take 3 points back to South Dakota.

Med City FC vs Duluth FC

Depending on how Duluth’s trip to Maple Grove goes, this could prove a make or break for both clubs. With Minneapolis seeming set to win all its remaining matches against the lower half of the table, both Med City and Duluth need to get points to avoid losing their spot to the Crows. The match also pits two of the NPSL’s last undefeated clubs against one another. The two sides drew 1-1 in their first meeting, but with so much on the line its fair to say someone will be coming away with three points this time around.

Minneapolis City SC vs Maplebrook TwinStars

TwinStars have been a thorn in the side of more than a few teams in the North this season, and while City may have won the first meeting 3-2 it was not an easy win. With the Crows and Maplebrook trading goals for the first half City needed a second half goal to win the match and the TwinStars look to reverse that result this weekend. With two matches, while very hard and unlikely, it’s not impossible that TwinStars could come away with 6 points and put themselves right into the thick of the playoff race.

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