united fc gameday
7 P.M. VS. ATLANTA • NATIONAL SPORTS CENTER STADIUM, BLAINE • CH. 45
Preview: Unbeaten Atlanta (1-0-4) takes on a Minnesota United FC (0-1-3) team hungry for its first victory this season.
United FC at a glance: A late Jamie Watson goal helped Minnesota to earn a 2-2 draw at Edmonton last week but the defending spring season champion Loons are almost out of contention to repeat. Sammy Ndjock gets the starting goalkeeper nod after getting benched last week. The offense has scored just four times, tied for last in the North American Soccer League. “Last year we knew we were going to come in, get a goal and we were going to keep our same game plan,” said keeper Mitch Hildebrandt, who started last week at Edmonton. “But somehow during these first four games, something happens that throws us off and we’re not adjusting to certain situations. We need to take the game to them. We’re too patient right now.”
Atlanta at a glance: The Silverbacks’ stout defense blanked New York and Fort Lauderdale, the NASL’s most productive offenses the past two weeks. Both matches ended as scoreless draws. Goalkeeper Steward Ceus returned from preseason knee surgery to make his debut against New York. He subsequently earned consecutive NASL team of the week recognitions for his 11 saves in the two games. Midfielder Michael Reed returns to play at Minnesota, the team he called home for three seasons before joining Atlanta in February. He has played all 450 minutes for the Silverbacks this season.
DAVID LA VAQUE