Skip to content

Minnesota Stars End Losing Streak with 2-1 Victory over Fort Lauderdale Strikers

2012 June 24
by Megan Ryan

Minnesota’s Simone Bracalello charges through the Strikers defense. Bracalello was the IMSoccer News/Brits Pub Man of the Match for his 2nd half play and game winning goal. Photo by Jeremy Olson –

The Minnesota Stars FC had lost three games in a row. The team was undefeated until just a few weeks ago and the downward spiral shocked many fans and gave the rest of the NASL confidence that the reigning champions weren’t unstoppable.

The Stars managed to turn things around by defeating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday night by a 2-1 margin. VanOekel, Davis, Kallman, Altman, Tobin, Hlavaty, Takada, Venegas, Ibarra, Nunez, and Bracalello started against Glaeser, Stahl, Blake, Stewart, Shanosky, Motagalvan, Otte, Pecka, Restrepo, Anderson, and Herron.

The Strikers made mistakes early in the game. Only five minutes passed before Otte earned a yellow card for diving in Minnesota’s box. Ten minutes later, the referee showed his teammate Motagalvan a yellow card as well for dissent.

The Floridians’ problems didn’t end there as the team conceded a penalty in the 17th minute when Shanosky handled a Bracalello strike in the box. Hlavaty stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty into the roof of the net. The Stars led 1-0 and their luck seemed to have changed.

The tables turned just as quickly in the Strikers’ favor in the 25th minute. Tobin fouled an opposing player well outside of the box. The distance didn’t deter Anderson’s free kick, though, since it powered over the wall and past VanOekel into the bottom corner.

The score was tied and Minnesota was back on a level playing field. The fears of another loss couldn’t quite set in, however, because the Stars took the lead again in the 39th minute. Vice-captain Kallman crossed a low ball into the box and Bracalello’s diving header met the ball at the near post. The attempt was too much for goalkeeper Glaeser to handle and the Stars led 2-1.

The Stars had one more solid goal-scoring opportunity just before halftime. Hlavaty assisted Nunez, but his acrobatic shot ricocheted off the cross bar.

The first half proved to be where all the action ensued. The second half, while the game still enjoyed some chances, wasn’t nearly as fruitful as the first for either team. Bracalello had two early options. His right wing drives easily slipped past defenders. Glaeser saved one of his shots and another cross just missed the head of Venegas.

After 63 minutes, Florida decided it was time for the first substitution and Otte retired to the bench for Lorenz.  Nine minutes later, Nunez earned the Stars’ first booking. Another substitution soon followed for the Strikers when Herron suffered an injury and Hassan came in as his replacement. Head coach Lagos made his first change in the 75th minute when Del Do swapped with Nunez. Four minutes later, it was Pecka out for Nagime.

The referee doled out the last yellow card in the 81st minute and the Stars made the last switch in stoppage time when Edi Buro came on for Bracalello. Del Do created one more shot, but the ball sailed wide of the post.

The Stars walked away with a much needed 2-1 win at home. The team still sits third in the league behind the leading Puerto Rico Islanders and second-place San Antonio Scorpions, but the point difference between the top-three teams is a bridgeable three points. The Stars will hope to build on the victory next Saturday away against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and regain the top spot on the table.

Stars forward Simone Bracalello chosen as the Brit’s Pub/IMSoccer News – Minnesota Stars FC Man of the Match for his fame winning goal.

Italian forward Simone Bracalello received this week’s Brit’s Pub/IMSoccer News Man of the Match award for his excellent play on Saturday night. Bracalello set up the first Stars goal by taking a shot in the box that deflected off defender Jack Stewart’s arm and drew a penalty kick. Then Bracalello scored himself on a diving header for the game-winning goal which brings his goal total to 4 this season and 5 in all competitions.

Bracalello will receive a $50.00 gift certificate from Brit’s Pub and Eating Establishment for being chosen the Brit’s Pub/IMSoccer News – Minnesota Stars FC Man of the Match.

5 Responses
  1. Soccer Boy permalink
    June 24, 2012

    It was great to see a renewed energy on the part of the Stars. I thought the Stars played through the midfield better and the backline is regaining their cohesiveness.

    As a famous Minnesota once said, “There is no place like home.”

  2. Bart permalink
    June 25, 2012

    Frances Ethel Gumm was one of the good ones.

  3. Jim Oliver permalink
    June 25, 2012

    Devin Del Do should be starting. Nunez had a good game, and if he’d had his best 20 minutes after 3D dragged the FTL defenders all over the field for 70 minutes, he’d have had a goal.

    Devin Del Do should be starting.

  4. Darren L. permalink
    June 25, 2012

    Had pitch side seats for this one! We were so close to the action at times that the kids could really hear what the players were saying to each other. Now we have a new saying in our house: “don’t swear like a soccer player!”

    A little disappointed at the announced crowd of 2442, but the game did not disappoint. There’s no excuse for not being at that game on such a beautiful evening, with pitch seats only $25, and $2 beer.

  5. Strikers Return permalink
    June 26, 2012

    What a frustrating game this was for Striker Likers. Time after time we wasted opportunity after opportunity to seize control of this game. We continue to struggle to finish chances. Outside of that, I think Coach Shore deserves some criticsim for some of the things he did in this game. I love Toni Stahl….as a center back. He has been a fish out of water trying to play left back in Laing’s absence. It was real ugly to watch at times Saturday night. Unless Scott Lorenz is injured, Shore has a lot of explaining to do as to why he wasn’t playing left back, a guy with exprience playing there, rather than Stahl. I could go on, but just suffice it to say that the Stars took advantage of the opportunities presented them on the field and won the game while the Strikers could not, and lost. Credit the Stars and Coach Lagos.

    @Jim Oliver – What you are saying makes perfect sense to Striker fans. We saw the same thing last year. Nunez would come on late in games and be a difference maker. Then Coach Shore would “reward” him by giving him some starts, only to see no results. The guy is a super sub, and that speed he has becomes even more effective late in games against tired back lines.

    @Darren – We certainly would like to see bigger crowds for NASL matches all the time. But that 2,442 is actually a welcome improvement for the Stars at NSC, so we should be thankful. Little by little we all need to work together to build our teams and this league. Keep supporting the Stars, and tell all of your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. to do the same!

Comments are closed.