Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. 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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Minnesota United's squad for tonight's game in San Antonio includes 16 of the players who traveled to Carolina last weekend - plus three new faces, all of them midfielders. Sean de Silva, Lucas Rodriguez, and Kentaro Takada will make the trip to Texas, while Max Griffin (who will be in Los Angeles for his brother's wedding) and Michael Reed miss out.
Rodriguez and Takada played with the second team in Wednesday's scrimmage against Anoka-Ramsey Community College, while de Silva worked with both the first and second teams in either half. Though nobody with the team mentioned an injury, given that Reed started the past three games in central midfield, I'd speculate that he picked up some kind of an injury on either Wednesday or Thursday.
United has a 19-man travel list instead of the usual 18 for this one, possibly to provide cover for Miguel Ibarra, who did not practice Thursday after a minor injury Wednesday. The winger may be a game-time decision, with Rodriguez or de Silva ready to take a spot on the bench if Ibarra is unable to play.
Honors for Wall
Striker Travis Wall was named to the North Coast Athletic Conference (Division III) All-Decade team this week - along with siblings Tyler and Sarah. All three starred for the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops; Sarah graduated in '05, Tyler in '10, and Travis in '11.
Wall was one of the most-decorated players in Division III soccer history; he was three times All-Conference, twice All-American, and was the 2011 National Player of the Year and won a national championship. Since joining Minnesota in 2012, Wall has made nine appearances and one start for the club.
The return of Altman
United captain Kyle Altman, now retired and in medical school in San Antonio, will be at tonight's game in a different capacity: superfan. Altman tweeted this week that he'd be in attendance, saying, "Unofficially starting the SA Dark Clouds division this Saturday."
He later clarified that he was willing to make it official, rather than unofficial, if only anyone would pay him dues.
Tonight's game is a 7:30 pm start, at Toyota Field in San Antonio. You can watch online at MNUnitedFC.com. As always, the team will host an official watch party at Brit's Pub in downtown Minneapolis, while the Dark Clouds will be watching at the Nomad World Pub on the West Bank (or, in the case of Altman, from the Toyota Field stands).
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