A new season starts with a familiar foe. Crosstown rivals Minneapolis City and St. Croix Legends start 2023 where they left off in 2022: playing each other in the atmospheric confines of Edor Nelson Field. It’s an even split between the Crows and the Legends. Each have defeated the other on their home patch and they shared a draw in Stillwater as well, leaving the all-time record between them at 1-1-1.
Saturday May 13
Minneapolis City vs St. Croix Legends
6:00pm kickoff (5:30pm gates open)
Edor Nelson Field, Minneapolis
A QUICK START IS ESSENTIAL
Heavily reliant on college players, both Minneapolis City and St. Croix will be fielding teams that haven’t had a lot of time to train together. Both will know of the need to get points early. With the season so short, the pressure to win points and create momentum is there from the very beginning.
“That is super important; to start off on a good note and get a win or a result in the first game,” captain Jonah Garcia said. “I think we started pretty strong last year, even though it was two losses in a row against the Des Moines Menace. I thought, for how good of a team they are, we played quite well. But as a result never came for us, the pressure slowly built.”
“You have to be gritty for the first few weeks before you get settled,” said midfielder Aidan O’Driscoll. “I think that will be important; just getting results, getting three points.”
FAMILIAR FACES VYING FOR THREE POINTS
Minneapolis City fans will see a number of familiar faces wearing St. Croix gray. Attackers Kevin Andrews and Bernard Assibey-Rhule joined the Eastsiders as did defenders Jack Barry and Erick Bloom. They will complement a strong core of quality returners including Kolton Prater, Ethan Andersen, and Jared Hecht.
Going the other way, Victor Gaulmin, Hakeen Morgan, and Shea Bechtel joined Minneapolis City after a season spent in Stillwater. The St. Olaf trio are available for selection this week, having been released from their collegiate commitments. They are just a few of the new faces in a City squad that has been overhauled by new coach Carl Craig.
“That’s probably one of the best things about City — the quality of players it attracts,” said O’Driscoll, who has the second-most appearances of any active City player. “It’s never going to be easy to get into an XI.”
Not that there aren’t familiar faces. Eli Goldman, Jameson Charles, Zach Susee, Garcia, and O’Driscoll are fan favorites who are back for another season. Their experience and cultural level-setting will be key to getting the Crows flying back near the top of the table.