MNUFC2 vs. North Texas SC Preview
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - MNUFC2 continues its current homestand of matches at Allianz Field when it hosts North Texas SC on Saturday night. Last Saturday, Minnesota fell in a hard-fought match against the Houston Dynamo 2, conceding a first half penalty kick as the only goal scored in the match. Loons goalkeeper Fred Emmings made his return from injury and recorded nine saves on the night.
MNUFC2 continues to make a playoff push with just three matches left to play in regular-season action. Ahead of Saturday's match, the Loons are in sixth place with 33 points while the North Texas ranks fourth - and holds the final Western Conference playoff spot - with 40 points. With the margin between the two sides being seven points, Minnesota is again in must-win territory. Notably, the Loons have won five times at home this season, including once at Allianz Field (versus Colorado Rapids 2, April 17).
North Texas SC and MNUFC2 have already squared off twice this season, with both matches being played in Dallas. In March during MNUFC2's first-ever MLS NEXT Pro contest, the home side took the 3-1 victory. Midfielder Justin McMaster scored the Loons' lone goal of the game. In June, North Texas handed Minnesota a 4-0 loss.
MNUFC2's match notes can be downloaded HERE.
MNUFC2 hosts North Texas SC at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. The game starts at 6:00 p.m. CT following the conclusion of the MNUFC and FC Dallas contest, and can be viewed by streaming at www.mlsnextpro.com.
Cameron Knowles on preparation this week ahead of North Texas SC match...
"We had a long week of training and it was a good week of training. The guys' attitudes have been really good and I think we're all looking forward to this game. There's a lot riding on it. We have to win to have a chance at the playoffs and obviously, there's a lot of disappointment on the back end of the last result [versus Houston Dynamo 2]. The guys have come in, they've worked and so we're all excited for the game tomorrow."
Cameron Knowles on facing North Texas for third and final game between the sides in 2022...
"We go back this week looking at the videos of the last two times we've played them and both those games, we had a number of early chances that we failed to capitalize on and were punished for our mistakes in the end. Much like Tacoma [Defiance], this is a very good team in terms of preventing the opposition from having chances. They're [North Texas] probably fifth or sixth in goals conceded and then on the other side, they've got a high conversion rate in their chances. So, we know that we have to be clinical when we get the opportunities when we create those chances, and we've got to really limit the amount of opportunities they get, very similar to what we did against Tacoma."
Cameron Knowles on how players will manage their energy around the playoff scenario, must-win game on Saturday...
"The important part is just channeling all our energy into positive outcomes in the game. Making sure it doesn't result in a lack of discipline or anything like that. We'll still have some moving pieces with it being a double header and the potential for players being added late that we'll have to manage, but I think everyone understands the importance of the game. Everyone is ready for the challenge of the game and I think we'll see that. We should see that right from the start and the energy that the guys bring to it and the quality and intensity they bring to the game."
MNUFC2 vs. NORTH TEXAS SC
ALLIANZ FIELD | SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA
09.03.22 | MLS Next PRO Regular Season | Week 22
6:00 p.m. CT (mlsnextpro.com)
MIN: 8-8-5 (5-3-2 at home)
NTX: 11-5-5 (4-3-3 on the road)
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