Med City FC Wins “Minnesota” Cup, Promptly Changes Trophy’s Name

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Med City FC claimed its second trophy of the season on Friday night after its 1-0 victory over Minneapolis City SC at Augsburg University won the Mayhem the “Minnesota” Cup. And while it wasn’t the coveted Conference Championship trophy clinched by Minneapolis City the weekend before, thanks to a win over Duluth FC coupled with a Med City FC loss to TwinStars FC, it was hardware, nonetheless.

However, in an unexpected twist, Med City FC general manager Frank Spaeth decided to change the name of the cup! Noting that there was already a “Minnesota Cup” competition during the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League’s summer season, Spaeth made an executive decision to rename the trophy the “10,000 Lakes Cup.”

The idea behind the Cup was the brainchild of the Minneapolis City SC supporters’ group, called The Citizens. It was created to recognize the Minnesota-based National Premier Soccer League team that finishes the season with the best head-to-head record among all the Minnesota-based NPSL teams. With the Mayhem’s win on Friday night, they claimed the trophy for 2019. The Cup, which The Citizens joke is “the most coveted/fakest trophy in all of Minnesota,” was won by Minneapolis City SC last season.

“The idea behind the Cup is actually a pretty cool one, that I think embraces the rich legacy of soccer in Minnesota,” Spaeth said. “But I think it is important to recognize the work and accomplishments of the state amateur league in creating a strong, competitive, legitimate entity that already includes a Minnesota Cup tournament.”

Spaeth feels that not only is the history of the MASL’s Minnesota Cup important, but that the NPSL’s North Conference needs to create its own history and traditions. Renaming the prize the “10,000 Lakes Cup” gives the trophy and competition its own identity moving forward.

“Our conference has done some great things in just a short time in the National Premier Soccer League,” Spaeth said. “We’ve only been around for three seasons as a conference, but we’ve already had a team win the regional championship (Duluth FC in 2018) and two of our teams represent the league in the US Open Cup (Dakota Fusion FC in 2017 and Duluth FC in 2017 and 2018). As we continue to establish ourselves as a great conference with strong, competitive teams it makes sense to build additional rivalries among our conference members.”

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Spaeth joked that he might also physically alter the current Cup, including possibly repainting it silver from its current bronze finish and having a friend build a base for the trophy where a metal plaque could be added, and the winner’s name could be etched on it each season. At least we think he was joking…

Spaeth played in the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League for a decade in the 1990s and 2000s, and the teams he was on competed in the Minnesota Cup each year, reaching the semifinals on two occasions. He looks back on his days in that league fondly. He also recognizes that many current players on NPSL North Conference teams played in the MASL before the NPSL expanded to the area, and that a few of the current teams in the NPSL North Conference started as MASL teams and clubs and/or still have ties to that league.

Med City FC Beats Minneapolis City SC to Qualify for Regional Playoffs

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This year’s Med City FC team has accomplished a lot of “firsts” in the history of the club. This was the first Mayhem squad to win in Fargo/Moorhead, the first to beat Duluth FC and the first to go ten games undefeated. On Friday night, the team had a chance to achieve a couple more firsts with a win over rivals Minneapolis City SC. Victory would mark the first time Med City FC had ever won in July and also clinch the team its first-ever regional playoff birth. The team accomplished both with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against the Crows in Minneapolis.

The Mayhem struck early, in the game’s third minute. A corner kick was only half cleared by the Crows and fell to Med City FC midfielder, Man of the Match, Marcos Fernandez who placed a lethal curled shot into the top corner of the Minneapolis City SC net for a 1-0 lead.

As the game wore on, both sides used stout defense to keep the other team away from goal and neither team was able to carve out many good chances. Med City FC’s defense was led by Nicholas Itopoulos, who had been named to the NPSL North Conference XI earlier in the day. The Mayhem continued to keep pressing for more goals and the Crows were also intent on finding the equalizer. No more goals materialized, however, and Med City FC ran out with the tight win.

In the end, Minneapolis City SC would hoist its second straight conference title trophy, while Med City FC would have to settle for winning the “Minnesota” Cup for having the best head-to-head record against and among the NPSL North Conference’s Minnesota teams.

“It was a great win for us,” said Med City FC general manager Frank Spaeth. “The team spent last week working on a game plan for the Crows and they did a nice job of implementing it. Minneapolis City has a dangerous team and anybody that’s going to have a chance to beat them is going to have to be well-prepared and well-organized.”

As a result of Friday night’s match, Minneapolis City SC drops to the third seed for the regional playoffs and will again take on the Mayhem, who are the region’s fourth seed, in the first round. The two teams will meet again on Tuesday in Minneapolis with a trip to the regional semifinals in Detroit next weekend on the line.

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Med City FC Unbeaten Streak Ends with Loss to TwinStars FC

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July hasn’t been a kind month for Med City FC in its history. Despite putting itself in a position to reach the playoffs the past two seasons, poor performances in July have cost the Mayhem. Again, July reared its ugly head and has put the team under pressure to make the playoffs after going the first ten games of the conference season unbeaten. This time, it was Minnesota TwinStars FC who cast the post season in doubt for the Mayhem as they traveled down to Rochester and beat Med City FC 2-0.

In truth, they Mayhem have nobody to blame but themselves for the loss. The team wasted a myriad of great scoring chances and some slack defending led to two first-half goals for the TwinStars. The first goal came in the 33rd minute against the run of play, as Ahmed Osman worked his way into the box and around two defenders to slot past Mayhem goalkeeper Salvador Plaza. The second goal came deep in first half stoppage time on a goal from Sadra Golzarian. That made the score 2-0 at halftime.

Med City FC continued to press for goals in the second half, again creating numerous chances but not converting them. As the game moved toward the end, the Mayhem threw three and then four attacking players on to try to turn their fortunes around. But it wasn’t to be, and TwinStars left Mayo High School stadium with a 2-0 victory.

“Historically, July hasn’t been kind to us,” quipped Med City FC general manager Frank Spaeth. “At this point, we’d really like to just have it removed from the calendar!”

The Mayhem need to recover quickly so that they can go up to Minneapolis to play Minneapolis City SC in the last game of the regular season. The Crows have already clinched the conference title after beating Duluth FC on Sunday. And while the Mayhem are still one point in front of the BlueGreens, Duluth FC will play bottom club LC Aris FC, and Med City will make the trip to Augsburg College on Friday knowing only a win will guarantee them the final playoff spot in the NPSL North Conference.

Med City FC Wins Rain-Delayed Match Against Dakota Fusion FC

For the past two seasons, the weather has been anything but kind for Med City FC, and Sunday afternoon’s contest against visiting Dakota Fusion FC was no different. It started out as a beautiful Sunday afternoon, where fans enjoyed a pre-game tailgate party thrown by Rochester’s Post-Bulletin newspaper and a guest appearance from “American Ninja Warrior” star Roo Yori. However, the nice weather didn’t last long…

The game kicked off with Med City FC quickly in control in terms of possession and the Mayhem created several early chances but misfired on their early attempts. Dakota Fusion FC, who had made the six-hour trip from Fargo-Moorhead were weathering the Mayhem storm as an impending thunderstorm crawled into the area. Then, in the 24th minute a miss-timed tackle by Fusion forward Isaac Kehson drew a straight red card from the center referee and Dakota found themselves down a man. Less than two minutes later the storm system that had been rolling in filled the sky with lighting and the match was suspended for a weather delay.

It was nearly an hour and a half before the two teams retook the field. And while Med City FC would continue to dictate play and create chances, Dakota Fusion held their nerve and the two teams would end the first half at 0-0.

The Mayhem continued to control the game and pressure the Fusion defense and the pressure finally paid off in the 52nd minute as Fusion defender Justin Masudi was penalized for a hand ball in the box. Med City FC’s leading scorer Francisco Neto stepped up to blast the spot kick past Fusion keeper Lukas Billhardt to register his ninth conference goal in ten games.

Substitute Ayo Adebayo entered the match in the 59th minute and added to the Mayhem lead just six minutes later, deftly turning in a cross from defender Ignacio Milla to make the score 2-0. Another Med City FC sub, Jordan Lennon, would take even less time to make an impact, coming on in the 68th minute and adding a third goal just two minutes after entering courtesy of a fine through-ball from Alan Schembri Wismayer.

Lennon and Man of the Match Adebayo would then combine for the fourth goal in the 82nd minute, as Lennon used his pace to drive up the right side of the field and slot a ball into the path of Adebayo, who scored his second of the match at the second time of asking after Fusion goalkeeper Billhardt stopped his initial effort.

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Mayhem midfielder Jack Hilton-Jones was credited with a fifth goal in the 87th minute, as his close-range shot bounced around off a couple defenders and found the net. That wrapped up the scoring as Med City FC claimed a 5-0 victory. It was a vital win for the Mayhem, who are in a three-team race for the two playoff spots in the NPSL’s North Conference. It leaves them just one point behind conference-leading Minneapolis City SC and one point ahead of defending Midwest regional champions Duluth FC.

Med City FC has just two regular season conference games remaining. The team welcomes a tough Minnesota TwinStars team to Rochester on Saturday, July 6 before finishing up on the road in Minneapolis against Minneapolis City SC on Friday, July 12. With Duluth FC and Minneapolis City SC meeting in Duluth on July 6, the races for the playoff spots and conference title look almost sure to come down to the last weekend of play.

Med City FC Claims Inaugural Rochester City Cup

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Last night, in the heat and humidity of Rochester Regional Stadium, Med City FC took on local club Rochester FC in a battle for city bragging rights and the first-ever Rochester City Cup. In a hard-fought, but not necessarily well-played, game it was the Mayhem who would come out on top, using a pair of goals in the game’s final 20 minutes to claim a 3-1 victory.

Rochester FC came out hungry in the game’s first 20 minutes and their effort was rewarded with a nice goal by Igor Aguiar on the counter-attack that gave them a 1-0 lead. The goal came against the run of play, with Med City FC having much of the ball but little to show for it. That all changed, however, in the 37th minute as Estiven Garcia, who had just come into the game a few minutes earlier, was fouled in the area to earn the Mayhem a penalty kick. Alan Schembri Wismayer stepped up to take the kick and fired it past the diving Rochester FC keeper for a 1-1 tie. That’s how the half would end.

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In the second half, Med City FC turned up the pressure a bit more and again had control of the game. The Mayhem still couldn’t find that cutting edge in the final third, however. The game took a turn in Med City FC’s favor in the 71st minute, as the Rochester FC goal scorer Aguiar was shown a second yellow card and was sent off. Med City FC capitalized just a few minutes later as defender Nicholas Itopoulos sent a through ball to Jordan Lennon who made a nice run and finish to score and make it 2-1 for the Mayhem.

Med City FC would add a third in second half stoppage time, as Abel Gebrikiros did some fine one-on-one work down the left side to get to the end line, drive across and slot a pass to Garcia. His fine one-touch finish sealed a 3-1 victory for the Mayhem. With the win, Med City FC claimed the first-ever Rochester City Cup and remain undefeated on the season (6-0-3 in conference; 9-0-3 overall).