MNUFC2 welcomed St. Louis CITY2 at the National Sports Center Stadium on Sunday night riding a win against Whitecaps FC 2, but the evening favored the offensive powers from Missouri, resulting in a 2-1 defeat for the Loons.
MNUFC2 had a strong start to the first half with two close chances created by forward David Garcia nearly minutes apart. On the defensive side, the Loons made key stops, including tackles from defender Carlos Leatherman that cleared the ball out of their own third. In the eighth minute, St. Louis was awarded a penalty kick from an Emmanuel Iwe challenge inside the box. Loons goalkeeper Alec Smir made an impressive outstretched save to keep the match at zero a piece.
But it would be the visitors that struck first. CITY2 found space in the box and Josh Dolling’s shot found the back of the net in the 21st minute, giving them the 1-0 lead. MNUFC2 would continue its defensive stronghold despite the score, and the offense turned up the pressure by way of a David Garcia shot just feet from goal that was saved by St. Louis. The score would remain at 1-0 at half time.
The story was the same in the second half. The Loons defense continued to stifle St. Louis chances. MNUFC2’s Garcia had yet another close shot in the 57th minute, reinvigorating the home side’s energy. But, CITY2 kept the pressure on, finding the back of the net again via Sergio Revis, doubling the score 2-0. Loons defender Jason Ramos then connected on a set-piece pass from midfielder Aziel Jackson in the 78th minute, scoring his first MNUFC2 and MLS Next Pro goal. The home side fought until the end, but couldn’t find the equalizer, and the game ended 2-1 in favor of St. Louis.
With the loss, MNUFC2 moves to the seventh spot in the MLS Next Pro Western Conference standings (6-5-3, 24 points).
MNUFC2 next travels west to take on the Tacoma Defiance on July 17 at the Startfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington. Kick is set for 9:00 p.m. CT, and the contest will be streamed live at www.mlsnextpro.com.
0-1 STL – Josh Dolling, Assist Ezra Armstrong (21’)
0-2 STL – Sergio Revis, Assist Akil Watts (71’)
1-2 MIN – Jason Ramos, Assist Aziel Jackson (78’)
Yellow, STL – Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (34’)
Yellow, STL – Ezra Armstrong (37’)
Yellow, STL – Josh Dolling (62’)
Yellow, MIN – Jason Ramos
Yellow, MIN - Ignacio Gutiérrez (90’+3’)
1 – MNUFC2 defender Jason Ramos scored his first MLS Next Pro goal against St. Louis
15 – Recently acquired via loan, MNUFC2 attacking midfielder Sagir Arce made his debut for the Loons, playing 15 minutes
TEAM LEADERS (Updated through July 10)
Goals – Aziel Jackson (6)
Assists – Aziel Jackson (5)
Saves – Fred Emmings (33)
Wins – Fred Emmings (3)
Shutouts – Eric Dick (2)