Preview: In the midst of a three-match stretch in a span of eight days or fewer for the third time this season, Minnesota (4-3-2, fall season) hopes to build off Wednesday’s victory with another positive result. Jacksonville Armada FC (2-5-3) posted a victory and a draw in its past two games under interim coach Mark Lowry. The club picked up the first road victory in its history last Saturday, beating Ottawa 2-1, then followed it up Wednesday with a 1-1 draw against Fort Lauderdale.
Players to watch: Jacksonville forwards Jemal Johnson and Alhassane Keita recently were named to the North American Soccer League Team of the Week for their efforts at Ottawa. Keita netted both goals on assists from Johnson. For Minnesota, forward Ben Speas drew praise for scoring the first goal Wednesday against Tampa Bay and starting the second goal with a deft cross. “He was essentially the catalyst in the early part of the spring and when he went out the team kind of went to pieces,” Loons coach Carl Craig said. Forward Christian Ramirez struck for his league-best 13th goal.
Perfect so far: The Loons have yet to lose against Jacksonville in four meetings (3-0-1).
david la vaque