Minneapolis City vs Rochester FC
The games are coming now thick and fast, with Minneapolis City hosting Rochester tonight and then again with FC Manitoba on Wednesday (Pride Night, by the way, and we hope to see you there), as the first of three straight multi-game weeks ending in a weekend tour of middle Canada. This is the toughest part of the season.
That’s why points are so important now, especially against a Rochester side that is just three points ahead of the Crows (who have a game in hand against the OtherLoons). Rochester are a good side, with standouts Jake Parish and Pedro Palhares the dangermen. They have done a lot of damage in the Deep North Division so far and City defenders will have to have an eye on them whenever they are on the ball.
The Crows, for their part, are coming off of their first win of the season after beating Milwaukee 1-0 last weekend. “This season, we’ve just been putting our heads down, grinding, with our new coach and Matt [VanBenschoten] to the general manager [role],” goalkeeper Kaelen Matacastillo said. “This one win means a lot and hopefully we can build off it. It feels good to have it finally bounce our way.”
The win came on the heels of the 1-1 draw in Rochester, meaning City are unbeaten in two–their best run since joining USL League Two last season.
“[I]f you watched last week, defensively we were great. There’s a real togetherness starting to happen within the group,” said Craig. “Obviously, the familiarity [helps]; also the accountability to one another. Teams don’t just happen. So I’ve seen a relationship start to build, and now, the desire to actually get results. At times, our football’s great. At times, football is like bang-your-head-against-the-dugout poor. But what we’ve got now is at least togetherness, where they’re working for each other.
“I’m learning an awful lot about this, the level that kids play at rather than at this level. Meaning, one of me colleagues is a college coach, he says, ‘Ah, I dress 28 blokes in the game and then everyone gets a game.’ So, these kids are not used to 90 minutes, and if they get fatigued, they come off. Which, to me, speaks to the football. At times, we’re so frivolous with it. Boom, kicking it up the park, and if you cannot run anymore, somebugger else will come in. Well, that’s not really football for me. This is real football.”
There are some players missing for the home side today. Influential midfielder Eric Contreras and fullback Wes Lorrens are out, while fullback Carson Pina is questionable. It’s not all bad news. Forward Mark Gallagher, one of the Shattuck-St. Mary’s crew, is back from the University of Washington and is available to play tonight. So is his Shattuck teammate, now at Boston University, Andrew Soczynksi.
We are back home on Wednesday for Pride Night! See you at 7pm as we take on FC Manitoba.
Special Welcome To…
Today’s food trucks: