Minnesota Stars FC host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday night at NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minnesota. The teams have a familiar history, having faced each other in the 2011 NASL Championship Series.
After a fairytale start to the season that included eliminating MLS league-leaders Real Salt Lake from the Open Cup, on top of a a nine-game unbeaten streak in the 2012 NASL season, the Minnesota Stars have come back to reality. Knocked out of the Open Cup by the San Jose Earthquakes, then handed consecutive defeats in the league, including a 5-1 thrashing by the RailHawks to lose their unbeaten streak, the Stars have started a downward spiral and are winless since May 19th. A 2-0 loss to the Rowdies last weekend ended their unbeaten record at home.
The Strikers are coming into this match off of a 1-0 home victory against FC Edmonton. Strikers’ joint-top scorer Andy Herron scored the game’s only goal after returning from a knee injury that was expected to keep him out until August. The win was bittersweet due to an horrific injury to midfield regular Polo Morales, who fractured both the tibia and fibula in his right leg after just twenty minutes played.
The Stars have faced the Strikers twice this season, both times at Lockhart Stadium. The last time the teams met was on May 19th, the Stars leaving Lockhart with all three points after a 3-1 road victory. The Stars will hope for a strong home field advantage as the Strikers have struggled on the road, and are the only team to have not recorded an away victory this season.
Minnesota Stars FC vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Saturday, June 23, 2012— 8:30 P.M. EDT
Webcast: NASL on ustream
2012 Series: Stars, 1-1-0, 4pts
2011 Series: Strikers, 2-2-0, 8pts
Minnesota Fort Lauderdale
Head Coach Manny Lagos Daryl Shore
2012 Records 3rd: 4-5-2, 17pts 4th: 4-4-4, 16pts
Last Five Games W D D L L L D W L W
Goals Leader Amani Walker (3) Mark Anderson (4),
Andy Herron (4)
Assists Leader Amani Walker (3) Walter Restrepo (5)
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