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AC St. Louis at NSC Minnesota Open Cup Preview

AC St. Louis will play NSC Minnesota Tuesday night at 7:00 pm in the second round of Lamar Hunt US Open Cup play.  The winner will play the MLS leading LA Galaxy in LA on June 29.  AC St. Louis defeated PDL side Des Moines Menace last Tuesday, 1-0, while NSC Minnesota dropped the USASA Kansas City Athletics 4-2, to advance in Cup play.

NSC Minnesota had been on a four game league unbeaten streak until losing Saturday to Portland 2-0.  Starting with their May 29 come from behind 3-2 victory over AC St. Louis, the Stars have had a scoreless draw with Rochester, beat Montreal 1-0 and Portland on the road 1-0.  Still, Coach Manny Lagos wasn’t happy with the loss to Portland Saturday after beating them Thursday.  “”It was disappointing to our team and disappointing for our fans,” Lagos said after Saturday’s match. “We have to look into each other’s eyes, regroup and try to recover the momentum we had going.”  This Tuesday’s Open Cup matchup will be the Stars fourth game in eight days, and Lagos rested defender Andres Arango and forward Melvin Tarley Saturday, and defender Kevin Friedland, forward Brian Cvilikas and team captain Johnny Menyongar were used as substitutes, giving them a bit of a breather.

Cvilikas, Daniel Wasson and Neil Hlavaty lead the NSC Minnesota’s offense with six points apiece.  Defender Kyle Altman leads the league in minutes played with 1345, having featured in each of the Stars’ fifteen league games.  Joe Warren has started in goal since Louis Crayton’s serious injury in the season opener, and has five shutouts,although backup Brian Oelker got the start last week against the Athletics.  The Stars are 5-8-2 so far in USSF D2 play in 2010.

AC St. Louis carry a 2-7-1 league record to Blaine, Minnesota, and are on a winning streak of their own, having gotten road victories in their last league game in Puerto Rico and in Des Moines by identical 1-0 scores.  Brad Stisser and Mike Ambersley were the goal scorers in the victories, and AC St, Louis goalkeeper Alec Dufty now has three clean sheets on the season.  Captain Jack Traynor got banged up in the Des Moines contest, suffering cracked teeth and a concussion, and it would be surprising if he played Tuesday night. 

This should be a very good contest.  NSC Minnesota may be a bit worn down, having played more three games in the last week, while AC St. Louis has only played one, and should be fresher, although they have to travel.  Although AC St. Louis has suffered financial turmoil in the last month and the loss of Steve Ralston, who returned to MLS,  Coach Lagos does not feel that those distractions give his team an advantage.  “In a way, it’s galvanizing for a team. You want to fight for your club,” he said. The Mississippi River rivals are hungry to knock each other off, and a trip to LA would be a feather in the cap of either expansion squad.  The Galaxy are dominating the MLS, and a good showing against them would elevate the season. 

There are no plans for live streaming or an audio broadcast of the game, according to the Stars’ front office.  There will be a twitter feed from their homepage.  Log into the AC St. Louis Fanatic for a live blog of the match.  On Saturday June 26, AC St. Louis returns to AB Soccer Park for an evening matchup with the NASL Conference leading Vancouver Whitecaps.   GO AC !!!

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3 Responses

  1. How great would it be if AC St. Louis got the opportunity to play the LA Galaxy? It would be a much deserved peak to their season after everything they have had to endure.

  2. I agree, that would be fantastic. An ACSTL victory Tuesday night in Minnesota coupled with an American win over Algeria Wednesday morning would make for a great week !

  3. Jack Traynor is on the travel squad to Minnesota…also making the trip are Mike Ambersley, Dillon Barna, Chad Becker, Mark Bloom,Troy Cole, Jeff Cosgriff, Alec Dufty, Gauchinho, Elvir Kafedzic, Luke Kreamalmeyer, John Lesko,Ryan Moore, Christian Nzinga, Chris Salvaggione, Brad Stisser, Alex Titton and Tim Velten. GO AC !!! (Thanks Tony Hubert for the info).

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