It’s matchweek three, at least for the clubs that started the season on time, but even the rest get started this weekend as the North Conference gets going in earnest. For Minneapolis City, a trip to La Crosse beckons and they will face an Aris side buoyed by the momentum from grabbing a dramatic 2-2 draw against a quality Joy St. Louis Park team.

“What a result for Aris” enthused co-founder Dan Hoedeman. “They have gotten better every year we have been in the league and watch their first goal, it was a banger. They will be tough opposition for sure.”

The Crows have momentum of their own. They have won their first two, scoring nine goals and conceding none, as they saw off the clubs from the Dakotas. Both times an opposition player was sent off, a testament to the flying attackers willing to take a man on. That said, critics will suggest that City need to face a full side for 90 minutes for it to really count. That’s silly, of course, because what matters is points–especially as, after this game, the Crows face Duluth and Med City in the same week.


Last season before the pandemic, Aris set a club record with six points.

Already this season, they have an impressive point on the board. With forward Damien Baltide in fine form and the confidence flowing, this is a much different Aris side than fans have come to expect. An adjustment to the project by owner Greg Saliaras is to credit. He has changed his approach for recruiting, built the team with an eye to the opposition, and continued the tradition of strong coaching. Facing City will be a challenge, but fans would do well not to underestimate Aris this season.


There are no injury concerns for Minneapolis City outside of Aaron Olson, who remains sidelined with a muscle problem. That makes it a full squad to choose from for Saturday’s match. Perhaps even a fuller squad, with the returns of defender Max Kent and attacker Kevin Andrews. Kent is back from Syracuse while Andrews has returned from his stint in Portugal. Both have been training well with the team and will be hoping to make the match squad.

“Last week against Fusion was a good result. Goals aside we were able to execute our game plan and play some good footie which I can’t say we’ve done a good job of that early on in years past. So to be able to see the things we did last Saturday is very encouraging” said head coach Matt vanBenschoten.

“However ,we also know we’re capable of a lot more and we’re going to need to be better. Aris just showed that they aren’t going to be an easy game for anyone and when you have to travel in the NPSL North, it makes it all the more difficult. So this another big weekend for us and we have to be able show that we can be consistent.”