Preview: Minnesota (1-1) makes its debut at home after getting its record level with a 2-0 victory at FC Edmonton. Ben Speas scored both Loons’ goals. Fort Lauderdale comes to the National Sports Center in Blaine off a bye week.
United FC at a glance: Speas earned the spotlight for his “brace.’’ But solid defensive play throughout the lineup equally pleased Carl Craig in his first victory as head coach. He called out forward Christian Ramirez — “The defensive work he put in really helped us succeed” — and young central defenders Brent Kallman and Damion Lowe. “They gave outstanding performances, particularly in the last 10 to 15 minutes when Edmonton just bombarded us with high balls.” Midfielder Ibson is “highly likely” to make his debut. Forward and reigning league MVP Stefano Pinho gets a shot at his former team.
Fort Lauderdale at a glance: The Strikers (0-0-1) are “a team that’s really good going forward,’’ United defender Justin Davis said. “Maybe they lack a little bit on the defensive end, so that’s something we’ll be looking to take to them.” The Strikers took all six points in the past two matches in Minnesota. Scouting them showed Craig that the Strikers “play a similar style to us — very aggressive. I don’t know if the bye week will be good for them or not but they will be a handful.” The Strikers expect to get two or three players back from injuries.
David La Vaque