Preview of Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs Minnesota Stars FC
Saturday, June 23, 2012 @ 8:30pm EDT
NSC Stadium – Blaine, Minnesota
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4W-4T-4L) face Minnesota Stars FC (4W-5T-2L) on Saturday at NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minnesota.
What's at Stake:
The Strikers will look to earn their first road win of the season (0W-2T-3L) against the struggling Minnesota Stars FC. A Fort Lauderdale victory would vault the team into third place in the NASL, passing Minnesota. The Stars have lost three straight games in all competitions, scoring two goals during the streak.
It is the third meeting of the season for the two teams with the first match a 0-0 draw and the Strikers falling 3-1 to the Stars at Lockhart Stadium on May 19th. It was the only loss at home for the Strikers this season (4W-2T-1L). The Strikers will look to regain their strong form against the Stars from last season, where they earned two wins and two draws.
The Strikers were dealt a tough blow to the team during last week’s home game against FC Edmonton when forward Polo Morales suffered fractured tibia and fibula bones in his right leg. Fortunately, Morales underwent successful surgery and is currently recovering.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers defender Jack Stewart was named the NASL Defensive Player of the Week. Stewart’s defense was a key to the Strikers shutout against FC Edmonton.
Minnesota Stars FC forward Amani Walker leads the Stars in goals (3) and assists (3). Simone Bracalello leads the team in shots (25), but has only converted two of those shots into goals.
Last Week Recap:
The Strikers returned home to Lockhart Stadium on June 16 for the second half of the home and home, defeating FC Edmonton 1-0. Strikers forward Andy Herron scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute on a cross from Walter Restrepo. The Strikers were able to fend off several second-half attacks from FC Edmonton with solid play from the defense led by several key plays from Jack Stewart.
Players to Watch:
#10 Walter Restrepo: Restrepo boosted his team lead in assists to five after providing the assist on the game-winner in Saturday’s match against FC Edmonton.
#26 Andy Herron: Herron has been remarkably efficient when given the opportunity this season. Including his winning goal against FC Edmonton, Herron has scored four goals in seven games played.
#20 Mark Anderson: Anderson has scored four times on the year, and has provided the Strikers a number of chances in recent games.
The Strikers return home to Lockhart Stadium to face the Carolina Railhawks on Saturday, June 30th at 7:30pm. Follow the Strikers on twitter @FTLStrikers and like us on Facebook to get the latest news and updates from South Florida's professional soccer team. All Strikers NASL matches are streamed live on www.strikers.com/live.