Sometimes The Sequel Is Even Better – Duluth FC’s Season In Review
In Duluth’s second season as part of the NPSL’s Midwest-North conference, the BlueGreens took another step forward in their quest to be part of the core of lower league football in Minnesota. It was a journey that ended in a blaze of glory that quite possibly should have never ignited and yet in the end earned the club its first ever regional championship.
It’s easy to forget that Duluth’s season didn’t start well, in fact it didn’t go well for almost a month of play. By the half way mark of the season the BlueGreens had only beaten two teams in league play, had actually lost more home games than they’d won, and were hanging on to a barely positive goal difference. The U.S. Open Cup provided a glimpse of optimism as the club made history by playing in the first round and advancing to the second, the first amateur club in Minnesota to do that in the competition’s modern era. The brief attention the cup earned Duluth seemed to dim quickly however as they found themselves stuck in the middle of the table and lost far behind VSLT and Minneapolis City sides that looked destined for first and second place respectively.
This all changed as soon as the second half of the season kicked off. Duluth would win, somewhat remarkably, six of their seven remaining games and earn five clean sheets in the process. Their one late season loss to Minneapolis would prove the determiner for them not winning the conference, but the sudden burst of form would earn them the second place spot and a playoff run.