Minnesota United Claims Spring NASL Title
Minnesota United FC claimed the Spring Season North American Soccer League (NASL) title this weekend, the clubs second piece of silverware since the relaunch of the league in 2011. Ironically, United’s 3-3 title clinching draw in St Petersburg, Florida against Tampa Bay came on the very same field where Minnesota’s attempts to win the first two NASL titles of this eras came to an end in a dramatic penalty kick shootout in October 2012.
With the spring title Minnesota automatically qualifies for the league’s revised playoff format known as “The Championship.”
Minnesota Coach Manny Lagos who lead his team to the 2011 NASL title remarked:
“Tonight was a great game. It took a lot for us to win the Spring Championship,” ”We had to go on the road twice to get results [in the last two weeks] and we were challenged in both games and great stuff by the guys, couldn’t be prouder. Tonight was an outstanding game and the character of this team came through.”
Minnesota’s title comes as a surprise to many. Though United had been seen as a top challenger for the title, it was expected the New York Cosmos who have dominated NASL since last August when the legendary club returned to competitive action, but an untimely injury to former Spanish International Marcos Senna, arguably NASL’s most decorated player left New York chasing the season and ultimately a point back in the table.
The Twin Cities will celebrate the title triumph tomorrow with a press event open to all fans. The league’s formal trophy presentation as well as a Question and Answer session with Minnesota United President Nick Rogers, midfielder Justin Davis and North American Soccer League Commissioner Bill Peterson and Lagos will take place.
The NASL’s Fall Season will begin July 12th, with the league taking a five week break for the World Cup. The winner of the fall tournament will also automatically qualify for the league’s season ending four team “Championship.”