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NPSL Round Up: Week 5

The Crows are now unbeaten and atop the North on their own

June 5, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - Med City FC goalkeeper AJ Jarvis (1) catches the ball after a corner kick during the match against Minneapolis City SC at Edor Nelson Field. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Week 5:

Wednesday:

Med City FC vs La Crosse Aris

Aris travelled out to undefeated Med City and threatened a major upset when they took the lead in the 15th minute through Qian Grosvenor. The home side could relax once again, however, as Lucas Hart continued his strong work as playmaker for the Mayhem and Mazeed Aro-Lambo dispatched the tying goal only 7 minutes later. Things really unravelled for the visitors when Damien Baltide was shown a straight red card for violent conduct, sparking a fight which also earned Hart a yellow card. Further goals followed from Prater and Millward.

Joy Athletic Club vs Sioux Falls Thunder

Darryl Florvil opened the scoring for Joy in the 7th minute with a floated freekick which found the upper corner of the goal from 22 yards out, but it took the St Louis Park side another 50 plus minutes to add to their lead. Emmanuel Iwe scored from a lofted pass into the area to continue his hot streak. Xavier Zengue wrapped things up in the 85th minute, tapping in the ball at the back post from a corner.

Saturday:

Minneapolis City vs Med City FC

The Crows showed that they are a class apart in a conference where everyone else is bunched together, as they dismissed the challenge of their visitors from Rochester, although it took a while for the deadlock to be broken. The opening goal came with a penalty from Max Stiegwardt in the 56th minute, after Lionel Vang was fouled. Kevin Andrews completed the win in the 75th minute, only 6 minutes after entering the game on a baking hot day in Minneapolis. Andrews finished off a rebound after Justin Oliver’s shot was parried into his path.

Dakota Fusion FC vs Aris La Crosse SC

Aris suffered misfortune from the moment they left Wisconsin as they suffered transportation problems. The game very nearly suffered a forfeit after the visitors left their - league mandated - full squad roster on the bus. By the time final whistle was blown, they may have wished they hadn’t travelled as even a red card for Fusion goalkeeper Matias Breit couldn’t stop the home side getting off the schneid. Aaron Pike started the goal scoring early in the 5th minute, through a breakaway. Noah Runsvold dispatched a penalty almost immediately after Breit’s dismissal and the scoring was completed in the 84th minute by Diego Valle.

Sioux Falls Thunder vs Duluth FC

With the match goal-less going into the 80th minute, Thunder took the lead in the 81st through Trace Dobson, with Duluth responding in kind through Caleb Tammi’s debut goal in the 86th but the visitors were sent home pointless when Tyler Limmer popped up in stoppage time to secure a Thunder win with a blasted free kick from just outside the penalty area.

Week 6:

Wednesday:

Dakota Fusion FC vs Minneapolis City SC

Coming off a big 2-0 win on Saturday night against Med City FC, the Crows will be looking to sweep the season series against Dakota Fusion. While the Crows take to the road they are 5-0-0 and have outscored their opponents 18-2 this season, including a 6-0 win over Fusion in Minneapolis. Dakota Fusion on the other hand is fighting to ward off the wooden spoon at the bottom of the table and are coming in to this match with their first win of 2021 behind them.

La Crosse Aris vs Joy Athletic Club

After some travel issues last week followed by a 3-0 loss to Dakota and the previous two home matches being played in Arcadia, Aris find themselves back home at Logan High School in La Crosse. Aris has just a single point to their name this season, being a draw with Joy Athletic early in the season. While Aris is effectively out of the playoff race, Joy is not. However another loss or draw for Joy Athletic could mean they are out of it, especially when the top two teams in the North have 12 and 15 points each.

Sioux Falls Thunder vs Med City FC

The second leg of this portion of the I-90 derby sees a Sioux Falls side coming off a massive upset win on Saturday night facing a Med City club coming off a tough loss that same night. This match is not one that we’d expect to be a playoff battle at the beginning of the season but is now imperative in the race for the North. If Med City wins they could have as much as an 8 point cushion over second place. A loss for the visitors means that cushion will be no more than 3 points.

Saturday:

Duluth FC vs Dakota Fusion FC

Duluth FC hosts Dakota Fusion in the battle of the Northernmost teams in the North Conference. Two sides who are struggling face off against each other at Public Schools Stadium in a match that pending Wednesday could give some momentum for Fusion. On the other hand a win for Duluth means their right back in the hunt. These are teams who only a few years ago went to PK’s in a US Open Cup match at Griggs Field at James S. Malosky Stadium on the UMD campus.

Joy Athletic Club vs Minneapolis City SC

Over the last few seasons of the NPSL North we’ve seen Twin Cities clubs come and go. From VSLT to the Minnesota then MapleBrook TwinStars. The one thing that has remained a constant is the Twin Cities derby against Minneapolis City SC. This time it is Joy Athletic’s turn to step up in the derby and face off with the Crows. City comes into the week 5-0-0 leading the conference and could have as many as 18 points heading into the match. As for Joy this will, without question, be their toughest test of the season.

La Crosse Aris vs Sioux Falls Thunder

The second Battle of I-90 this week for the Sioux Falls Thunder. Another match that could have playoff race implications on the NPSL North. Knowing the history of Aris this could be an easy win for the Thunder and it’s made more interesting by their recent victory over Duluth. If the week goes as it could for the Thunder we may have a 4-5 team race for the Midwest Region Playoffs.