Preview: Minnesota holds the fourth and final North American Soccer League playoff position and must ward off five teams in hot pursuit with a victory against FC Edmonton, which has clinched a postseason spot. Despite going without a victory in six consecutive games, Minnesota remains confident. "We've kept fighting and believing that it's going to click," striker Christian Ramirez said. Look for urgency from Minnesota, as coach Carl Craig has challenged his players to be more courageous and the message appears to have found its mark. "When we've been at our best this year, guys were playing free and taking their chances," Ramirez said. "It's like in basketball, you don't want Steph Curry to pass up an open three. If it's there, take what's been given to you."
Players to watch: The Eddies are expected to play a more familiar lineup, with defender Adam Eckersley returning from suspension due to yellow card accumulation and captain Albert Watson fit after taking several knocks in last Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Numbers: Minnesota is mired in a six-game slump (0-4-2) during which it has scored just five goals.
Injuries: Ramirez plans to be in the lineup Saturday after missing the Puerto Rico match. The NASL leader with 16 goals is day-to-day because of a left ankle sprain.
david la vaque