Minnesota UNITED FC GAMEDAY
What: 7 p.m. Saturday against Tampa Bay. Live broadcast available online at MNUnitedFC.com.
Preview: Simply put, this one is personal. The teams completed a high-profile trade before the fall season as Minnesota sent former North American Soccer League MVP Etienne Barbara to Tampa Bay for Mike Ambersley. After being traded, an unhappy Barbara let loose, claiming Minnesota coach Manny Lagos “doesn’t know anything how to coach a team.” Ambersley made his Minnesota debut last week at Fort Lauderdale, playing the final nine minutes. Barbara tallied a goal, an assist and a yellow card in the Rowdies’ 7-4 victory against San Antonio.
United FC at a glance: Minnesota’s 3-1 victory at Fort Lauderdale busted two slumps: a four-game overall losing streak in league play and a 265-minute scoreless drought. Minnesota split a pair of 3-2 games with the Rowdies in the spring season. Each time the visiting team walked away with three points.
Tampa Bay at a glance: The Rowdies won a wild game last week, spotting San Antonio an early 3-0 lead before storming back to score five consecutive goals in a 7-4 victory. Two former Minnesota players will be out of action Saturday. Midfielder Luke Mulholland drew a pair of yellow cards last week, resulting in a red card and one-game suspension. Amani Walker tore his ACL last week.
DAVID LA VAQUE