PREVIEW: CROWS VS MED CITY

Minneapolis City play host to Rochester’s Med City FC in the 2018 home opener.

The two clubs split the series last season, which each club winning away. The games featured positive play on both ends and no little drama. On the final day of last season, the Crows downed Med City 1-0 and knocked the Medics out of the playoffs. Surely, the boys from Rochester will be looking for revenge.

Season tickets sales are up 80% from last year, and despite the temporary move to Osseo, expect the crowd to be as loud and as rowdy as ever.

Goalkeeper Matt Elder, gearing up for his third season with the Grumpy Cats, said “getting back in front of our home fans for a third season is thrilling. The atmosphere at our home field has been better game by game, and wouldn’t expect The Citizens to disappoint in the opener.”

INJURY UPDATE

Abdallah Bah remains sidelined with an injury picked up in the pre-season match against Luther College, though his prognosis has been steadily improving. Bah is hoping to be back in action in June. Midfielder AJ Albers is another on the injury list, still recovering from a back complaint. Nick Hutton picked up an ankle knock in Sioux Falls. He is listed as day-to-day.

There are a few other notable absences as players return to town for the summer. Forward Juan Louis and midfielders Shae Bottum, Ian Smith and Tommy Katsiyiannis are unavailable for selection this weekend, but should work into the team once they are settled in Minneapolis.

Med City scouting report

The Medics ran out 3-1 winners over UPSL side Union Dubuque on Wednesday night, and our intrepid scouting team was there to watch a new-look 3-5-2 formation in action.

“They looked a lot more direct than last season” our undercover viewer commented “and I expect that we will see them look to exploit space behind our defense with quick balls over the top and using pacy wingbacks. They still know how to keep the ball, it’s just that there is a new urgency to their pressing and a new willingness to play the ball into space. They will be very dangerous.”

FiftyFive.One NPSL North Conference Player of the Year selection Ignacio Milla is back to anchor the Medics back line as is midfield maestro Ignacio Garrido. There are new faces, but it’s a very familiar core.

Head Coach Adam Pribyl is staying positive. “Med City is a team that is well-coached. I know Neil Cassidy from the women’s program at St. Mary’s, and he knows his stuff. They play fast and move the ball into dangerous areas of the field quickly. However, as a club we have tweaked our preparation process, and we have had a great pre-season so our players are ready for the game this weekend. The bottom line is to be successful in this league, you have to defend your home turf. That is our goal come Saturday.”

It’s about making chances count

Last week against Sioux Falls, City spurned a number of chances early that would have put the game away. A fluke 40-yarder made the Crows pay, leveling the scores too late for City to find an equalizer.

“I believe that even though we didn’t get the result we deserved last week at Sioux Falls, we showed that we have made progress as a club in the way we play. We created many scoring chances, but couldn’t convert when we needed to,” said Pribyl. “That is soccer. Take nothing away from Sioux Falls, they executed well on two scoring chances.”

Because of this, the boys will be looking to get out of the blocks quickly and make those chances count. The coaches and the players together have been stressing the need to play with ruthlessness. Look to see if the Crows can add intent to their possession–and get their shots on target.

“Chances will be at a premium compared to Sioux Falls” said Sporting Director Jon Bisswurm. “We have to make ours count.”

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