A Worthington and a Blackhawks player battle for the ball. Photo courtesy of Jason Morales Ortiz.
Another action-packed week saw the UPSL Midwest-West get all the more interesting as Worthington Community got its first league win, while Superior City dropped their first points of the season and two metro clubs found themselves locked in a tie for second place.
Minneapolis City Futures 2-1 Twin City
Following their 0-0 draw against Vlora, Twin City came close to a second surprise result on Wednesday. Traveling to Minneapolis City Futures, Twin City led 1-0 at halftime thanks to a penalty kick. Their gritty first half performance, however, was not quite enough for a result.
Two of the Futures’ early stars of the season, Camel Htoo and Carter Hermanson, combined for the equalizer just five minutes into the second half, with Hermanson getting the final touch amid his impressive start to the 2023 season. The Crows had to be patient, but now the goals were coming their way.
It was Htoo later in the half that then decided it all with a goal of his own to complete an impressive second half performance. The Futures Golden Boot winner has brought his scoring form into the UPSL in a big way.
Superior City 6-1 FC Minneapolis
Superior City packed on the pain on Wednesday, May 17, scoring six goals against FC Minneapolis with six goal scorers: Arseno Hamilton, Siji González, Mally Lumsden, David Lopez Perez, Mark Fehringer, and Matti Sysimaki. The result extended Superior’s win streak to six games, a hugely impressive tally for the new UPSL team.
For FC Minneapolis, it’s more questions than answers so far this season. The club remain winless and without a point for their efforts so far. The City Lions were quite competitive last year, and it remains to be seen if that can be recreated as the playoff picture quickly distances itself from them.
Worthington Community 5-2 Austin Villa
After a difficult start to their season, highlighted by a 2-2 draw with Maplebrook in week one, Worthington Community finally got a chance to host some games, and in turn win some games, last week. It all started with a midweek clash against fellow southern Minnesota club Austin Villa.
Chris Cerda, Chava, Miguel Moreno, and Prince Lebbi Jr. all scored as los Toros earned their first UPSL win, with Lebbi Jr. scoring a brace. The club was aware from the get-go that their home games would be a massive part of their ability to compete this season. It’s a factor they’ve capitalized on immediately.
St. Paul Blackhawk 4-1 Granite City
The Blackhawks earned a key win amid a busy week, hosting and beating Granite City in 4-1 fashion. The result gives the club nine points from five games and a thin but important hold on fourth place. Kebba Janneh scored the night’s first goal to put St. Paul in the lead, but Granite City equalized early in the second half to make it 1-1.
Jackson Lagos, Dylan Moua, and Caspar Olseth than proceeded to score through the second half to restore and maintain the lead. Olseth assisted the two goals proceeding his for a massive second half performance.
While it hasn’t been a perfect start to life in the UPSL for St. Paul, the team have still managed a strong start, only a few points behind the division’s best-starters.
St. Croix 2-0 Maplebrook
St. Croix continued their impressive start with a 2-0 win at home against Maplebrook, unlocked by a first half brace from Carver Tierney, assisted by Brian Brown and Owen Johnson. St. Croix continue to have one of the division’s most efficient attacks, scoring 14 goals in four games. That’s the same number of goals as Superior City as of publication, in two fewer games.
St. Croix have also impressed defensively, allowing just three goals so far. The club have had a fantastic start, with their 10 points in four games leaving them tied with Minneapolis City Futures for second place. They may be new to the league, but St. Croix already deserve to be amongst the talk of the town.
Worthington Community 2-1 St. Paul Blackhawks
Worthington were at it again on the weekend, winning their second game of the week in 2-1 fashion over the St. Paul Blackhawks. It’s two wins in two games at home for los Toros as they make the most of their home matches and begin to turn their home into a fortress.
It was the St. Paul Blackhawks who led 1-0 at halftime in this one, with Worthington making an inspired second half comeback to make it seven points from five games, a significantly better position than the club held just a week ago.
While the club hasn’t had quite the flying start of the some of the other new UPSL members, they’re certainly putting Worthington on the soccer map.
Austin Villa 1-1 Superior City
Austin Villa came close to giving Superior City their first loss of the season on Saturday, leading 1-0 going into the final minutes of the match thanks to a goal from -. Garrett Sutton, however, had other ideas and the Superior City player scored an equalizer to make it six wins and one draw for the club.
Austin Villa’s point at home from this game is stil a well-earned one that they can build on amid a start that’s seen them receive both positive and negative results. After the loss to Worthington, a point against a 6-0-0 team feels like a solid takeaway for the boys from the southwest.
Granite City 1-3 Vlora
Following some difficult results across multiple competitions, Vlora bounced back in style on Sunday with a 3-1 win over hosting Granite City. It’s a result that puts Vlora in fifth place with eight points from four games, very much still in reach of a high table finish.
Assem Elsayad, Suad Suljic, and Robert Cooper scored for Vlora, while Mario Neil scored for Granite City. While Vlora are currently on the edge of the top half of the table, the club has time to improve and has a deceptively good record, having yet to lose a game in league play this (or last) season.