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The Minnesota Thunder Falls Again to Cleveland 0-1

May 16, 2009 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Minnesota Thunder News Release

BLAINE, MN - Minnesota lose another USL league game to the Cleveland City Stars. The game started off as a chess match with both teams testing each other's waters. The heat came in the second half when Cleveland scored the first and only goal of the game. Bench player, Joshua Boateng, scored in the 63rd minute. After the goal, Minnesota played with a chip on their shoulder. Their fierceness was displayed with the high volume of fouls they incurred. The Thunder is home again, in Blaine, on Saturday, May 23 to face off with Miami FC.

The first scoring opportunity for either team came in the 19th minute. The City Stars were on offense and Guillaume received a through pass in stride. He sent a picture perfect cross to the center of the field. But to his dismay, former Thunder player, Leo Gibson was just a step behind and the ball rolled out of bounds.

Saint-Preux gave Minnesota their first good look. In the 24th minute, Sanchez ripped a shot that found the head of a Cleveland defender. The ball rebounded right to Saint-Preux. He wasted no time and took his shot. His ball went wide left.

Tarley had possession of the ball inside the goalie box in the 32nd minute. He was dancing with Gilstrap but Tarley could not get a clear shot. He flicked it back to Constanzo rifled a one-timer. Gilstrap stopped the impeding attack and the game remained scoreless.

The 36th minute saw another near miss for Cleveland. Warren Kanu had the ball 10 yards behind the penalty box with loads of space around him. He tried to bend a shot over the head of Platter. His try could not get it down quick enough and it resulted in a goal kick.

Both teams went into their respective locker rooms scoreless and hungry to strike first.

In the 53rd minute, Sanchez found himself at the corner again. He routinely sets his teammates up for a goal, and this one followed suit. Arango took the corner and headed the ball. His try went just over the crossbar.

Joshua Boateng put up the first goal of the game. It came in the 63rd minute. Aguilera gave him the ball and he was all alone. Platter saw the play unfold and was ready for the shot. Boateng banked a shot off the side post and it resulted in the go ahead goal.

In the 64th minute, Minnesota tried to even up the score. Dyachenko collected the ball in a mass of people but still took the shot. It was a hard low ball but Gilstrap made the save.

The ex-Thunder player, Leo Gibson, was on a breakaway with nobody but Platter in front of him. He retrieved a perfectly timed pass and even Gibson had to check to see if he was still onsides. He was going too fast and did not have enough control to put a shot on goal. By the time he collected himself, Minnesota's defense collapsed around him and they recovered the ball. This happened in the 67th minute.

In the 77th minute, Sanchez was behind the ball ready to take a free kick. Valentin was given a caution card and the Thunder wanted the equalizer. The shot was 10 yards outside the box and Sanchez went for it all. He bent it over the defenders but the ball went right to the hands of Gilstrap.

In the stoppage time of the second half, Myers gave one last look for the Thunder. He accepted a pass and sacrificed control for a shot. He sailed the ball over the crossbar.

The final whistle blew and the Thunder walk away with another loss.

Donny Gramenz, head coach of the Minnesota Thunder had this to say about the match: "The result is very disappointing. Once again we came out in the first half with not enough urgency yet still tied at half time. The second half was much better and I thought each substitution made a positive impact on the game. We played well enough in the second half to win but the reality is, it wasn't enough. I give a lot of credit for their performance tonight. We will learn from this match and start preparing for Miami."

The Thunder continue to play at home for the month of May. Their next opponent is Miami FC.

For individual tickets, please visit www.ticketmaster.com or for group tickets call the Thunder office at 651.294.4664.

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