Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.

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Two late goals doom Minnesota United - and likely, their spring title chance

Posted by: Jon Marthaler under On the road, Soccer Updated: June 22, 2013 - 9:07 PM

Carolina's Brian Shriver scored twice with less than ten minutes to go, sending Minnesota to a 3-2 defeat on the road - and likely ending United's chance to win the NASL spring season.

With 84 minutes played, it was all going United's way. Minnesota had scored twice in the first ten minutes, with Simone Bracalello and Pablo Campos banging in perhaps the team's two best goals of the season, and though Floyd Franks had pulled one back from the penalty spot for Carolina midway through the first half, all United had to do was hold on. League leaders Atlanta were even doing their part, having gone behind 2-0 against Tampa Bay. As it stood, Minnesota was going to lead the league, tied with Atlanta on 17 points, one ahead of Carolina with two to play. With a home game against Atlanta left, United was going to be the favorites for the league championship.

But then Shriver scored, and two minutes later scored again - and Minnesota went from the middle of the title picture, to the outside looking in.

It's the second time this year that United has dropped points late against the RailHawks. In Minnesota, they led 2-1, but a goal in the 84th minute tied the game. This time, it was the 86th and 88th minute. Six points for Minnesota turned into one, all in the closing stages.

Minnesota will rue a few missed chances. Bracalello hit the crossbar with an overhead kick, for one, and with twenty minutes to go, Carolina defender Jordan Graye scythed Miguel Ibarra down in the box. Though Graye may have got the ball, penalties have been given for less. RailHawks beat writer Neil Morris described it on Twitter as 50/50, which was probably fair, but given that Carolina's first-half penalty was similarly 50/50, it was slightly surprising to see the referee wave Ibarra's claim off.

That said, Carolina certainly had the run of play for most of the game - really all but the first 20 minutes. "We deserved to win that game," head coach Colin Clarke told the broadcast afterwards. Minnesota chose to try to hold on to their lead for most of the second half, and in the end it came back to burn them.

With two games to go, then, Minnesota has fallen to fourth in the standings (possibly fifth, depending on the result between San Antonio and Edmonton tonight), and would need a miracle to climb back to the top. They have to win their following two games, at Edmonton and and home against Atlanta, and then need one of the following two things to happen:

  1. Carolina and Atlanta draw next week, then Carolina loses at San Antonio the following week.
  2. Atlanta beats Carolina next week, and Carolina draws or loses at San Antonio the following week.

Even then, Minnesota would probably have to overturn a goal difference deficit. United's scored the same number of goals as they have allowed, but Atlanta is +2 and Carolina is +6.

For United, it's a heartbreaking loss - and, barring something amazing, the end of their spring championship hopes.


NY Yankees - M. Pineda 12:07 PM
Toronto - D. Hutchison
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Sale
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront 1:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Masterson
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
Arizona 58
Penn State 20 4th Qtr 10:00
UCF 17
Troy 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Western Mich 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Marshall 2:30 PM
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Colorado 3:00 PM
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Chicago 6:00 PM





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