Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Photo courtesy of Cole Gewerth and Superior City.

Recent Results, June 9th-18th

Maplebrook 1-1 Granite City

FC Minneapolis 0-1 Worthington Community

Granite City 2-1 Austin Villa

Twin City 3-4 St. Croix

Minneapolis City Futures 2-1 Superior City

St. Paul Blackhawks 4-0 Twin City

Superior City 2-1 Vlora

Austin Villa 6-0 Maplebrook

St. Croix 5-1 FC Minneapolis

Playoff Spots Secured

Minneapolis City Futures

Minneapolis City did not play last weekend, but they did continue their strong season with a 2-1 win over Superior City last Wednesday. The Futures locked a spot in the playoffs some time ago, the only question remaining as of the writing of this article is what seed they’ll take.

The club have 23 points and one more game to play on Wednesday to Maplebrook (this data is incorrectly shown on the UPSL website), this means that the club will finish second with a loss or draw and first with a win. A win is very much a possibility in this one and would guarantee Minneapolis City a home game to kick things off.

Whether the club lock the first seed or not, the 2023 season has been another remarkable chapter in the Futures program, who are remain undefeated in regular season play in the UPSL. Not this season. Ever. They’ve still never lost a regular season UPSL game, nor did the Minneapolis City 2 team that tread the path before them.

Attacking players like Carter Hermanson and Camel Htoo have very much come to play, rocking the UPSL with big goals and big assists while the likes of Zack Susee has brought waves of experience from the NPSL and USL League Two to help give an extra touch of class to the young Crows, who by far play some of the best ball game-to-game in the conference. Whoever has to play the reigning champs in the UPSL Midwest-West playoffs will have a truly difficult task ahead of them.

St. Croix

St. Croix won’t know until Wednesday night if they’ve earned the first or second seed in the Midwest-West, but it’s been a massive impressive debut season for the club in the UPSL regardless. St. Croix have the most potent attack in the conference by a mile with 37 goals from 10 games. The next two teams are Minneapolis City with 22 from 9 games and Vlora with 20 from 10 games.

St. Croix capped off that wonderful regular season run with a 5-1 win against FC Minneapolis, reminding the league just how dangerous they can be on their day.

Whether they play Superior City, Vlora, or the St. Paul Blackhawks in the semifinals, St. Croix will remain favorites for many to at least make the final, if not win the whole thing. The club has managed to put competitive teams on the in two leagues, clinched the playoffs early, and in the UPSL has a real shot at silverware. Again, it’s a very impressive debut for St. Croix.

Superior City

Superior City’s early hot start definitely slowed down later in the season, with injuries and the general grind of the UPSL calendar eventually seeing the club fall behind the likes of Minneapolis City and St. Croix. That being said, the new club made it work with a late burst of results to ensure a spot in the playoffs, a bit of vindication after their confident talk in preseason about competing for the title. If nothing else, we can definitely say Superior City have done that.

This big moment for the young club wasn’t secured, however, until their final regular season game of the season, at home against Vlora. The visitors, in a playoff race of their own, took the lead first after forcing a mistake from the goalkeeper.

Two goals in the last 15 minutes from Mark Fehringer and Mally Lumsden, two of the club’s notable former Duluth FC and Hayward Wolfpack attackers, turned the tables to give Superior City a late lead and a clinched playoff spot in either third or fourth place. Lumsden and Jordan Finneran made the assists on those historic goals.

If you haven’t heard the commentary for the two goals from Xavier Walt, take a look. It’s a reflection of the hope this club has had to be a meaningful part of the lower league scene. There’s a lot of heart behind this Superior City side, and that might mean more than you’d think.

What’s Left to Play For

The one big regular season match remaining is a postponed game between Vlora and the St. Paul Blackhawks from earlier this month. A win for either team earns a spot in the playoffs, but a draw would favor Vlora. Both clubs will want that spot badly, Vlora to continue tradition and the Blackhawks to further announce themselves to the league.

As mentioned in the article, as of Wednesday morning there is still a game on the books to be played between Maplebrook and Minneapolis City. That game will effect seeding, but won’t affect what teams qualify for the playoffs.

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