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Thunder to face Aztex on Saturday

July 13, 2009 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Minnesota Thunder News Release

BLAINE, Minn. (Monday, July 13, 2009) - The Minnesota Thunder have earned their second victory of the season on Saturday with a 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact. It was the first time the two teams met in 2009 and the Thunder walked away with the win. Minnesota continues their home stand with a match against Austin Aztex on Saturday, June 18 at 7:05 p.m. The last time Austin and Minnesota met was in Austin and it resulted in a 1-1 draw.

The Lightning have only one more regular season match in their 2009 campaign but their playoff hopes are slipping away as Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues is breaking away from the rest of the league. Hudson Valley is commanding sole possession of first place at the top of the W-League. Chicago Red Eleven is still within reach of Hudson Valley but with the season drawing near, the Lightning is going to need more than luck if they are going to advance to the playoffs. Minnesota's final match is Saturday, June 18 against the Cleveland Internationals.

About the Thunder (2-8-5, 11 pts.):

The Thunder is still having trouble finding logging wins in the 2009 season but Saturday's game suggests that the team has hit a turning point. Their most recent match was a 3-0 win to the Montreal Impact. The Thunder played as a team and together they walked away with win number two.

Minnesota is struggling to get out of last place and they are still two points away from the second to last team the Cleveland City Stars. The Thunder has only won two games in the 2009 campaign but they are ready to turn the season around.

"Every game for the rest of the season is important for us," said Thunder head coach Donny Gramenz. "We are looking to keep the momentum from our 3 to 0 win against Montreal and earn three points versus Austin. It is going to be a great battle on Saturday night."

The only Thunder player that is injured is Marcus Watson. His knee is giving him troubles and he will not be playing Saturday against Austin.

Brian Cvilikas is nipping at the heels of Ricardo Sanchez for the top Thunder points leader. Cvilikas has eight points with four goals while Sanchez has 12 points with four goals and four assists.

About the Aztex (3-8-6, 15 pts.):

This is the Aztex's inaugural season and they have a record of 3-8-6. Austin kicked off their organization with a match against the Minnesota Thunder and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. In their last three games, Austin is 1-2-0 but they are looking to log another win on Saturday.

Austin is coming off of a 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers last Saturday. Edward Johnson scored the Aztex's only goal but that was not enough to answer back to Portland's two goals.

Edward Johnson is the points leader for the Aztex. He has 11 points with four goals and three assists.

About the Lightning (7-3-1, 22 pts.):

The Minnesota Lightning has had a very successful 2009 campaign. With only one match left in regular season play, they aim to finish on a high note. Although Minnesota has a positive record, that is not enough to guarantee the Lightning a spot in the playoffs. Their post season hopes are on the shoulders of the Chicago Red Eleven. Chicago was tied for first place in the W-League but they have slipped to third leaving Hudson Valley alone at the top. Chicago has 28 points but is behind Washington Freedom and Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues with 30 and 31 points respectively.

Minnesota is playing the best soccer of the season and another shut out victory against Kalamazoo Outrage 5-0 on Sunday proves it. It was Minnesota's fourth match in a row that they have blanked their opponent and also won by multiple goals.

Caroline Smith has jumped up to second place in the W-League for points. Smith is also tied for first in goals with Angelika Johansson of Hudson Valley. Chelsea Cline is also producing goals for the Lightning. Cline got a late start this season but in the six games she has caps, Cline has produced six goals and assisted in three others.

About the Internationals (3-6-0, 9 pt.):

The Cleveland Internationals have not had a dream season in 2009. The Midwest Division is a difficult division to excel in and Cleveland has not produced as well as they would have liked. With three wins, Cleveland knows that that they can win but the Internationals have struggled to log victories.

Darcy Riley is leading the Internationals in 2009. She is the only player on the team with two goals and she also has two assists.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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