preview: minnesota united fc
What: Minnesota (2-3-2, 2-2-2 NASL) at Tampa Bay (4-1-2, 3-1-2) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in St. Petersburg. Live broadcast available online at MNUnitedFC.com.
Preview: A slumping Minnesota team needing a spark must create one in the most unlikely of environments — on the same field where it lost last season's finals. … Saturday's game comes a week after Tampa Bay's 3-2 victory over United at the Metrodome. The Rowdies won on a goal in the 90th minute after Minnesota rallied twice to erase one-goal deficits. … Minnesota is tied for fourth in the NASL standings with eight points, three out of first place, a spot Tampa Bay shares with Carolina.
United FC at a glance: After Tuesday's 1-0 home loss to an amateur Des Moines team in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, coach Manny Lagos apologized to fans and called the setback "a low I think the team hasn't felt in years." Injuries and some uninspired play made for a losing combination. … If United has any intentions of challenging for a first place in the season's opening half, it needs a victory at Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay at a glance: The Rowdies beat VSI Tampa Bay FC 2-1 this week in the Open Cup and play Seattle of Major League Soccer in the next round on Tuesday. … Former Minnesota standout Luke Mulholland scored a goal against his former comrades at the Metrodome last weekend. … Mulholland and Georgi Hristov both have a team-high four goals.
DAVID La VAQUE