United FC gameday
2 P.M. at OTTAWA • CH. 45
Preview: Minnesota travels to Ottawa for the North American Soccer League’s Championship semifinals. The winner plays next Sunday against New York, which defeated Fort Lauderdale 2-1 on Saturday in the other semifinal.
United FC at a glance: Minnesota leads the NASL with 54 goals but has not scored in the run of play for 310 consecutive minutes. What does the stretch mean to coach Manny Lagos? “Not much. Against Atlanta we had a lot of chances in the run of play and last week we showed resiliency to tie San Antonio,” he said. Last season the Loons dropped their semifinal game at home, a loss that provides something to think about this time. Minnesota was the only team to defeat Ottawa at home in the fall season. “We thought we should have been there last year, so we know firsthand that teams can win on the road,” defender Justin Davis said.
Ottawa at a glance: The Fury starts with defense. Goalkeeper Romuald Peiser allowed just 22 goals in 29 games for a 0.76 goals against average. Ottawa opened the fall season on a seven-game unbeaten streak, lost one, then went on a run of 12 games without getting beat. During that period, Peiser set league records for the most consecutive and overall shutouts. “They are a little like we were last year: really structured defensively, they know their roles and they’re really hard to break down,” United forward Christian Ramirez said.
David La Vaque