Match Preview: Strikers v. Minnesota
Following a month break for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, NASL action is back this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart as the Strikers take on Spring champions Minnesota United FC in the first match of the 2014 Fall season.
The Strikers have made a few roster adjustments to the side that finished with a 4W-1T-4L record in the Spring season. Having seen out their contracts, German veterans Oka Nikolov and Marius Ebbers have departed, along with Carlos Salazar and Matt Hall. Joining the team are former Slovakia National Team goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky, NCAA shutout record holder David Meves, Haiti National Team midfielder James Marcelin and Brazilian forward Jenison Brito. Contofalsky, Marcelin and Jenison are all expected to play vital roles on Saturday night.
The last meeting between the Strikers and the Loons on May 17 in Minnesota was a fight for first, as both teams looked to gain sole possession at the top of the NASL standings. The hosts won the match by a 3-1 scoreline, snapping the Strikers three-match win-streak and claiming first place in the table, a position they would hold for the remainder of the Spring season.
The game will be available online through NASLLive.com. Fans can subscribe to the service to watch every game in the Fall season. You can also follow the action on Twitter at @FTLStrikers. Use the official hashtag of the match #FTLvMNU to interact with the Strikers and share your thoughts on the match.
Coach Kronsteiner- “It’s a little tough for us right now because we’re dealing with some injuries. But we’ve also added some key pieces that should help make us better. Minnesota is always tough. They’re the Spring champions, so they’re going to come in ready to play. But our team is ready, too. We’ll have a better idea of where we stand after the game, but we feel confident about our team.”
Series history (W-T-L)
All-time (15 meetings): 4-4-7 (17 GF/23 GA; -6 GD)
At home (7 meetings): 2-3-2 (8 GF/8 GA; 0 GD)
Suspended: Fafà Picault
Injured: Chris Nurse, Pecka, Yaikel Perez (all doubtful)
2014 Stat leaders
Goals: Martin Nuñez, Fafà Picault (4)
Assists: Iván Guerrero (3)
The Strikers head out on the road to face the San Antonio Scorpions on July 19 before returning to Lockhart for a two-match home stand against a pair of old rivals: New York Cosmos on July 26 and Tampa Bay Rowdies on August 2. Tickets to the matches start at just $12 in advance. Call 954-606-0400 or click here to purchase online.