Dakota Fusion vs. Duluth FC
Jim Gotta Stadium | Moorhead, MN
5.30.18 | Game #5
Current 2018 Records (W-L-D):
Duluth: 0-0-1; 1-0-2 at home; on the road
Dakota: 0-0-1; 1-2-0 at home; on the road
Following two draws, Duluth are now tasked with a series of road trips to the Dakotas as they continue to fight their way to the top of the conference. Their first stop is the Dakota Fusion, based in Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN. The two sides haven’t faced off since their U.S. Open Cup first round match, a 4-4 thriller that ended with a penalty shoot out that sent Duluth to the second round. The BlueGreens last series of road games, stretching from the TwinStars to Med City, resulted in five points from three games. While such a turn out is positive, gathering more road wins out of otherwise tough draws would go a long way for any club.
While Duluth’s unbeaten form has been largely positive, scoring eleven goals and conceding five in league play, Dakota has had suffered several large defeats over the last two weeks. The Fusion fell 5-0 to Minneapolis City and 4-1 to the Minnesota TwinStars, leaving their match against Duluth an important opportunity for both sides. Duluth will hope to pounce on a chance to take on a struggling defense and improve their goal difference, while Dakota will hope that a return home can fuel repairs in their form. While Dakota have lost half of their games in the 2018 season so far, Duluth have yet to lose a regular season game, only falling short against Saint Louis FC, a pro club from the USL, in their open cup match at Public Schools Stadium.
With two long trips and the continued need for rotation, Duluth will need to follow the narrative and make the right choices if they want to grab three, or six, road points in the next week. Duluth and Dakota both made history in their open cup matchup against one another, as Duluth was the first amateur Minnesotan club to play in the first round in the modern era, and Dakota Fusion were the first Dakotan club to do so in the tournament’s history.