The early 2015 season has not been kind to neither Minnesota nor San Antonio. Both come into this game on losing streaks of 1 & 2 games, respectively. Minnesota was able to squeak out a draw in their first match but failed to get any points in their second. San Antonio, on the other hand, had an opportunity to get at least a point this past Saturday, but was undone by a near stoppage-time goal by Indy Eleven that sunk the Scorpions.
This is the first home game of the season for United, and the first since they were announced by Major League Soccer as the next expansion franchise. For San Antonio, this is the first road test for the defending champs of the season. Last year, San Antonio was formidable on the road - something they'll want to repeat this year.
Saying this game is a must-win for both sides is an understatement if they want any chance at the Spring Championship, which may well be out of reach for both sides already.
Last season & Outlook.
In the three games last year, San Antonio went 1-0-2 against the lads from the north. Minnesota was able to capture the Spring Championship while the Scorpions stole the Fall Championship on the last game of the season from a stoppage-time goal from Adrian Cann that gave the Alamo City boys the title. It seemed as though the two teams would meet in the Soccer Bowl, but United were undone at home versus the Strikers, whom the Scorpions defeated for the title.
Both teams have very high expectations for this season. Both title contenders on paper, but have yet to show it on the field. Both teams are at the bottom of the table. Both teams are without wins. Both teams are struggling to score.
Players to watch.
For Minnesota, like always, it's the duo of Miguel Ibarra and Christian Ramirez. The USMNT call-up & 2014 Golden Boot winner have been pretty quiet in their first two games. I don't expect them to stay quiet and they might awaken in their first home game of the season.
San Antonio's player to watch is César Elizondo. Last week it seemed like he was just running around the pitch without any purpose. If San Antonio is going to score more goals, he will need to be more involved, have better first touches, and take better strikes.
Of course I want the red & black to win, but from what I've seen in the first two games, I'm not too optimistic and I'll be happy with a draw. Hopefully Cummings can continue his scoring streak and maybe Elizondo will help contribute as well. It will be interesting to see how our men handle the first away game against the reigning Spring and Woosnam Cup winners. It pains me to say this, but my scoreline for this game is 2-0 in favor of Minnesota.
Prove me wrong, Scorpions!
The game is this Saturday, April 25th at 7:00 pm CST at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota. #MNUvSAS
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