By Dominic José Bisogno/Duluth FC
Duluth FC traveled for the first time this season to Minneapolis to face Minneapolis City SC following the BlueGreens’ season-opening win against Joy Athletic. Minneapolis City had already played three matches ahead of today’s matchup, all resulting in wins and a total of nine points.
Minneapolis City dominated the possession in the early part of the game and had their share of chances, but a strong performance from goalkeeper Brendan Dally, who also started against Joy Athletic, helped ensure no goals were scored for the home side. Duluth opened the scoring just before halftime as Sidney Warden scored his third goal of the season off of a wonderful counter attack, a common method of attack for Duluth on the night. It was 1-0 to Duluth at halftime, with Duluth surviving a dominant start for Minneapolis and coming away with a surprise lead.
Minneapolis City opened the second half with two early goals Mohamed Youssef and William Kidd, finding space around the Duluth backline and slotting in two vital finishes after an opening 45 minutes of missed or saved shots. Duluth would find their way back into the match as Warden managed to score once again, marking his fourth from two starts. Brayan López found City’s winner with a strong shot from the edge of the 18-yard box, outsmarting multiple defenders before beating Dally despite the South African keeper’s strong performance on the night. It would be the last goal of the night despite bright moments from the BlueGreens on the counter attack.
It was a night of highs and lows for the BlueGreens, who now head home knowing they will have two important opportunities to take wins away from home when they face LC Aris FC and Sioux Falls Thunder FC over the next two weekends. While the club’s opening two score lines have proven exciting for all clubs involved, the BlueGreens continue to find strong performances on both ends of the pitch and will have more than enough room in the remaining ten matches to stay in both the playoff and title races.
The night also handed a first start for Scott McCarthy, who was the only change from Duluth FC’s starting lineup against Joy Athletic.
Head Coach Sean Morgan nominated Sidney Warden as Duluth’s Man of the Match for the night. It’s Warden’s second MOTM nomination from two games, a reflection of his deadly start as a forward for the club. With four goals from two games, Warden leads the race for the Kyle Farrar Golden Boot, the title given by Duluth FC to their top goal scorer each season.
The result hands Duluth its first loss of the year and leaves them with three points from two games as they lose at Minneapolis City for just the second time in club history. City, meanwhile, have four wins from four games. Duluth’s next match will be their second away match of the season, played on May 29th against LC Aris FC, a team with one draw and one loss this season.
Photo Credit: Holden Law