After suffering only their second loss of the season to Whitecaps FC 2 in the final game, North Texas Soccer Club looked to bounce back to Minnesota United FC 2 again.
NTX had previously beaten the Loons at home this season2, North Texas SC repeated the result with a 4-0 victory to earn three additional points moving them into 1st place in the Western Conference.
Coach Pa made three changes to the starting lineup from the previous game. Blake Pope started at right-back as the only changed to the back line.
Derek Waldeck returned to the starting lineup for the first time since May 1 against Sporting Kansas City II. Santiago Ferreira returned to the starting lineup for the first time since May 14 against the Vancouver Whitecaps 2.
Jose Mulato opened the scoring in the 39th minute and scored his 4th goal of the season.
Bernard Kamungo doubled North Texas’ lead in the 56th minute for their 8th goal of the season.
It didn’t take long for North Texas to score again as Luis Miguel scored his second goal of the season in the 58th minute.
Andre Costa and Colin Smith entered for Santiago Ferreira and Luis Miguel in the 71st minute.
Tomas Lacerda replaced Jose Mulato in the 76th minute.
Colin Smith scored the fourth goal of the night in the 81st minute for his second goal of the season.
North Texas SC beat Minnesota United FC 2 4-0.
Thoughts and Takeaways
Despite the heat, Minnesota hasn’t been afraid to press and play assists as part of its offensive plan.
“I think Minnesota was having trouble finding and breaking lines,” Kah said of Minnesota. “When that happens, then it comes down to the individual and we want to play as a collective rather than as an individual.”
Minnesota was keen on planning passes through the middle to their forwards to put the North Texas defense in 1-on-1 situations. Also, quick transition was key for Minnesota to create threatening chances.
“We lost too many individual duels both in the air and on the ground,” explained Waldeck. “You felt the scales tip a little early at the start and that’s on us as players. We started making little mistakes that we don’t normally make and we had to fix that.
Central midfielders in North Texas have had to constantly adjust and maintain a central presence to limit Minnesota’s advance and watch for any late runs into the box.
Coach Pa explained how he wanted his team to play their game throughout the match. Even with the twice-extended weather lag, North Texas didn’t let the forces of nature get in the way of their game.
“We discussed with the group [during the weather delay]”, said coach Pa. “They understood that they were not up to the job in the first half. They responded and that’s the most important thing you want to see as a coach. We got the first goal which helps. We are a team that does not want to lose two games in a row.
Despite Minnesota’s press and constant desire to make progress on the court, North Texas actively found ways to get past opponents to place the ball in dangerous positions.
“Pa shows me a movie and makes me work on things,” Parker said of the building game’s growth. “The coach was telling me I needed to push forward more, so I made sure in the second half to play to my strength and keep attacking the guys.”
The team were able to find ways to play the ball all over the pitch to progress forward and quickly transitioned into defense when the ball was lost.
North Texas SC hit the road to take on Sporting Kansas City II on Saturday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. Central Time.