Preview: Minnesota (4-2-1) is shorthanded coming off a 4-2 loss at undefeated Indy Eleven that knocked the Loons from first place to third in the spring season standings. The Loons fought back from a 2-0 deficit to draw even but allowed two late goals. They also lost defender Justin Davis to suspension. He drew two yellow cards and got ejected. He is unavailable to play against Tampa Bay. Davis was a North American Soccer League Best XI selection last season and has worn the captain band much of this season.
Players to watch: Stefano Pinho gave Minnesota life at Indy Eleven with a highlight goal. Last year’s MVP and leading scorer with Fort Lauderdale scored his second goal with the Loons and appears to be finding his form. Tampa Bay (2-2-3) hasn’t scored much (six goals) but former Loons’ player Kalif Alhassan ranks among the league leaders with 12 chances created.
Numbers: Minnesota is 3-0 at home this spring, outscoring opponents 6-0.
Injuries: Minnesota forward/midfielder Ben Speas (ankle sprain) remains out.
david la vaque