Minneapolis City’s Carter Hermanson celebrates his fifth goal of the season. Courtesy of Jason Morales Ortiz.
Minneapolis City 2-0 Austin Villa
This was a big week for the Minneapolis City Futures, who locked into a tied first place spot after a busy week. That week started with a confident home win against Austin Villa, who have been hard to read this season but have looked competitive.
This game took some time to be decided, stalled 0-0 at halftime. Joseph Swallen found the opener for City, his first of the season, in the 78th minute. Collin Byrne, who already had an assist on the day, then scored an insurance goal two minutes later.
St. Paul Blackhawks 0-4 St. Croix SC
St. Croix dominated the Blackhawks last week, scoring two goals in each half to take home another three points and a clean sheet. Carver Tierney was the protagonist of the day with two goals, while Owen Johnson and Stu Sain both added one goal.
St. Croix started the season well but the question remained as to what they would look like once the senior team began USL League Two play, potentially pulling away key players. The answer has been that it frankly seems to be having no effect. St. Croix look as good as ever and went on to score nine goals this week without conceding one.
Twin City 2-2 Granite City
Twin City came into 2023 as expected-strugglers, having had few positive results in 2022. The team isn’t competing for the playoffs, but they are defying expectations to some degree as they continue to find draws and keep their losses close.
Perhaps most importantly, they’re finding goals, something that was clearly missing last year and early on this year. If they can tidy up their defense, we could see a first win of the season soon.
Vlora 4-1 Maplebrook
Vlora’s journey back into the title race has had some speed bumps, but the club are finally kicking into gear and finding big scorelines. They started last week with a home win against Maplebrook that featured braces for both Robert Cooper and Ale Cosmopolis.
Vlora may have some points to make up for with the current group of top teams in the conference, but they’ve yet to lose and can quickly improve their record if the goals keep flowing from their impressive roster.
Austin Villa 1-2 Vlora
Vlora kept the progress coming at the weekend with a road win against Austin Villa, another tough test that the 2019 champions took on well. Minnesota United veteran Pablo Campos had both goals in this one, providing the leadership and experience the team will need to overcome early obstacles.
For Austin Villa, its two losses in one week and the continuation of a touch-and-go 2023. The club clearly has talent and can punish anyone on their day, but it seems the boys in Austin may be a bit out of reach of the title race this year.
Worthington Community 0-3 Minneapolis City
Minneapolis City Futures kept the wins coming as they traveled to Worthington for what proved to be an interesting, if strange, match. The toro in the room is that Worthington got three red cards in this game. Make of that what you will, but whatever the margins of those calls, City did their job and collected three points.
The only goal of the first half came from Micah Miller, while Carter Hermanson and Parker Flynn scored in the second half. It was Hermanson’s fifth goal of the season.
Granite City 0-1 FC Minneapolis
FC Minneapolis got their first win of the season last weekend, traveling to and beating Granite City. It’s a massive result for the City Lions, who now have time to try and revamp their season. It has been an interesting start for FC Minneapolis, who were expected to compete far more than they have. Despite winning this game, they ended the week tied with Twin City at three points and just one ahead of Maplebrook had two points. Neither team have a win this season.
Maplebrook 2-2 Twin City
Twin City kept the progress coming with a 2-2 draw against Maplebrook on the road, their second point of the week and third of the season. It was also Maplebrook’s second point of the season. Both teams have had slow starts to 2023, but both also needed a result to help build into the remaining portion of the season.
St. Croix 5-0 Superior City
St. Croix made their way to the top of the table on the weekend, handing Superior City their first ever UPSL loss. Carver Tierney again scored two goals for St. Croix, while Carter Theisfeld made a hat trick of assists.
Superior City have had a great start to their debut season, but the weekend showed that the club will have its challenges this Spring. For Superior, who already look a-near lock for the playoffs, it’s likely a matter of moving on quickly from this sudden loss.
The result means St. Croix is tied with Minneapolis City Futures and Superior City for first place at 16 points. St. Croix and the Futures have played six games, while Superior has played one additional game.