Battle of First and Second as United Faces the New York Cosmos

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Friday, September 18th, 2015) — Minnesota United (7W-4T-2L, 25pts.) enter Saturday’s critical contest against the league-leading (NASL combined standings) New York Cosmos (6W-4T-2L, 22pts.) with all the momentum in the world. Having won five of their last seven matches, the Loons will look to topple the rival Cosmos for the first time in franchise history. Kickoff for the match is set for 7 p.m. CDT – fans can watch all the action live on KSTP45-TV and ESPN3.

Minnesota United is rolling through the competition as of late. The Loons are on a seven-match unbeaten streak ahead of Saturday’s match against the Cosmos. With a win Saturday night, United will move even with the Cosmos at 42 points atop the NASL combined table, and could possibly overtake the Ottawa Fury at the top of the NASL Fall Season table.

“It’s toward the end of the year and you have two teams that are pushing each other to get to the top of the table—very similar to the spring season—it’s a big game for both teams,” said Minnesota United Head Coach Manny Lagos. “The hype is justified—ultimately it’s not the last game of the year, but it definitely has meaning.”
It has been six weeks since the Loons last matched up against the New York Cosmos in a game in which United scored early but fell late, dropping three points after Walter Restrepo and Hunter Freeman beat Mitch Hildebrandt for goals.

“They’re a quality side, like any other team in our league they have good players, but you have to play well to win and that will be important Saturday,” said Lagos.

There are reasons to believe this match will be different. Minnesota United is firing on all cylinders, scoring in its last 21 league matches and leading the league in goals scored with 42. Whether it’s a poacher’s goal at the back post or a blast from the top of the box, United has found ways to put the ball in the back of the net. Against one of the toughest defenses in the league, the United frontline will need to be at its best to add to the tally on Saturday.

“We’ve had some tough challenges both at home and on the road and the guys have handled tough situations as a group very well,” said Lagos. “Over a month you’re looking at a lot of different scenarios, but the guys have handled those scenarios really well.”
UNITED NOTES | FULL PREVIEW | COSMOS NOTES
Both teams will understand the importance of Saturday’s match, coming in the final stretch of the season with both clubs vying for the top position in the overall standings. As the last meeting between United and the Cosmos, this match will undoubtedly make a difference in the race for the postseason. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CDT at the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine.

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