After suffering only their second loss of the season against Whitecaps FC 2 last game, North Texas Soccer Club looked to rebound again Minnesota United FC 2.
NTX previously defeated the Loons at home this season2, North Texas SC repeated the result with a 4-0 victory to get three more points putting them in 1st place in the Western Conference.
Coach Pa made three changes to the starting lineup from the previous game. Blake Pope started as the right fullback as the lone change to the backline.
Derek Waldeck returned to the starting lineup for the first time since May 1st against Sporting Kansas City II. Santiago Ferreira made his return to the starting lineup for the first time since May 14th against the Vancouver Whitecaps 2.
Jose Mulato opened the scoring in the 39th minute and got his 4th goal of the season.
Bernard Kamungo doubled North Texas’ lead in the 56th minute for his 8th goal of the season.
It didn’t take long for North Texas to goal again as Luis Miguel got his 2nd goal of the season in the 58th minute.
Andre Costa and Collin Smith entered for Santiago Ferreira and Luis Miguel in the 71st minute.
Tomas Lacerda replaced Jose Mulato in the 76th minute.
Collin Smith scored the fourth goal of the evening in the 81st minute for his second goal of the season.
North Texas SC defeated Minnesota United FC 2 by a score of 4-0.
Thoughts & Takeaways
In spite of the heat, Minnesota was not afraid to press and play line-breaking passes as part of their attacking plan.
“I think Minnesota was having an easy time finding and breaking lines,” Kah said of Minnesota. “When that happens it then comes down to the individual and we want to play as a collective instead of an individual.”
Minnesota was keen to plan passes through the middle up to their attackers to put the North Texas defense in 1-v-1 situations. Additionally, transitioning quickly was key to Minnesota being able to create threatening chances.
“We lost too many individual duels both on the air and on the ground,” Waldeck explained. “You felt the scale tilt a little early in the beginning and that falls on us as the players. We started to make little mistakes that we normally don’t and we had to correct that.”
The North Texas midfield center-backs had to constantly adjust and maintain a presence centrally to limit Minnesota’s progression and to monitor any late runs into the box.
Coach Pa has discussed how he wants his team to go and play their game over the course of the entire game. Even with the twice-extended weather delay, North Texas did not let the forces of nature hinder their game.
“We had a chat with the group [during the weather delay],” Coach Pa said. “They understood that they were not up to the level in the first half. They responded and that is the most important thing that you want to see as a coach. We got the early goal which helps. We are a team that doesn’t want to lose two games in a row.”
In spite of Minnesota’s press and constant desire to move up the field, North Texas actively found ways past their opponents to get the ball in dangerous positions.
“Pa shows me film and has me working on things,” Parker said about the growth in the buildup play. “Coach was telling me that I needed to get forward more so I made sure in the second half to play to my strength and keep attacking guys.”
The squad was able to figure out ways to play the ball all over the field to progress forward and was quick to transition to defense when the ball was lost.
North Texas SC will go on the road to face Sporting Kansas City II on Saturday, July 2nd, at 7 PM Central.