Well, Minnesota faces off at home against a familiar foe. In 2011, when the Dark Clouds and the supporters group up in FC Edmonton realized they were kind of the forgotten pair of NASL, they created the Flyover Cup to celebrate the fact that our stretch of the North America is considered flyover country as well as to raise money for charities in each other’s cities. After letting Edmonton win the cup in the inaugural competition, Minnesota have now won it for two years running.
Now that Ottawa has entered the league, FC Edmonton might be looking at them as their new “rivals.” And for Minnesota, I guess San Antonio are our rivals now, at least according to them. I suggest we make a trophy out of I-35 asphalt and hide it in an egg.
Anyways, back to this weekend’s game.
Edmonton as a Foe
Minnesota faces Edmonton at a fortunate period of the schedule. Edmonton currently is 0-1-1, and already has one 1-1 draw. Last season, they led the league with 12 draws. Edmonton is set up to play incredibly strong defensively, with the strategy to score on the counter-attack. While they nominally play a 4-3-3, in play it can often seem like a 4-5-1.
Edmonton played Wednesday night against Ottawa Fury FC in the Canadian Championship, which is the Canadian version of the U.S. Open Cup, and gives the winner of the tournament a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League. Looking at the starting lineup, there were only a couple changes from Edmonton’s loss to the Cosmos.
With most of the team playing 3 games in 7 days and another one next Wednesday, Edmonton will likely play even more defensively, looking for the draw. The last two games, Minnesota has seemed to be the more fit team, and that should help them eventually break down Edmonton in the later stages of the game. However, Minnesota will need to make the most of the limited chances they have on the goal, which they didn’t do against Ottawa.
Injuries and Substitutions
Juliano Vincentini is currently day to day. I would be interested in seeing Jordan step into that spot on the starting XI, as he gives the team a great box to box midfielder and allows Pitchkolan to play to his strength as the more defensive of the two. It would be great to see Bracallello start in place of Daley. While Daley has made some great runs along the sideline, he hasn’t shown those flashes of brilliance that he did at the end of last season.
With a great crowd behind them, I see Minnesota breaking down Edmonton and scoring at least 2 goals. What do you expect the score to be? Put it below!