Duluth FC vs. Sioux Falls
Public Schools Stadium | Duluth, MN
July 16th, 2021 | Game #12
Current 2021 Records (W-L-T):
Duluth: 5-1-0; 4-2-0 at home/on the road
Sioux Falls: 1-4-2; 1-3-1 at home/on the road
Starting XI: Brendan Dally, Jake Starling, Scott McCarthy, Martin Grzywa, Liam Condone, Aidan Hill, Dylan Sumner, Caleb Tammi, James Westfield, Sidney Warden, Keegan Chastey
Substitutes: Gabriel Campora, Kazuyuki Hata, Micheal Devlin, Danny Torres, Eric Watson, Alex Pike
16’ – Dylan Sumner (DFC)
19’ – Stevenson Storm (Sioux)
30’ – Stevenson Storm (Sioux)
41’ – Dylan Sumner (DFC)
50’ – Martin Grzywa (DFC)
68’ – Sidney Warden (DFC)
75’ – James Westfield (DFC)
Duluth entered Friday knowing they had to equal or better Med City’s result against Minneapolis City to secure a spot in the playoffs. While Med City eventually lost that game, the BlueGreens didn’t hold back in ensuring they would have a post-season.
It would be an eventful first half as Duluth hosted Sioux Falls in their final home match and regular season match. Dylan Sumner’s first half brace of headers would be equalized by a brace from Stevenson Storm, who impressed with his footwork in the box on several occasions, leaving it 2-2 at half time.Sumner now has four goals this season, making him Duluth’s third-to-top scorer for the season.
A scrappy goal for defender Martin Grzywa, his first of the season, gave Duluth an early second half lead before Warden scored his 16th goal of the season to give Duluth breathing room. Gabriel Campora, playing as a substitute, assisted a 5th goal which was slotted in by James Westfield to cement the lead for Duluth. It’s Westfield’s sixth of the season and 14th with Duluth overall, further cementing his history with the club in his second season up north.
It would end 5-2 to Duluth, securing the club’s spot in the playoffs. Warden now leads the league with 16 goals from 12 games, along with six assists. This leaves the London-native set to take the league’s 2021 Golden Boot, a massive accomplishment for the Mercyhurst man.
Head Coach Sean Morgan named Duluth-native Keegan Chastey as Man of the Match. It’s Chastey’s first nomination of the season and comes after an impressive season from the young player, who only recently graduated high school and took his first steps in collegiate soccer.
Morgan also made some personal history on the night, earning his first birth in the NPSL playoffs as a coach. Morgan did so twice as a player for Duluth FC in 2017 and 2018, winning silverware in both those seasons. Now, as the club’s first player-turned-coach, he has the club headed toward their third ever playoff run.
Goalkeeper Brendan Dally, playing his tenth game for the club, also impressed on the night, stopping several chances for Sioux Falls and frequently winning balls that were far from guaranteed for the South African. It’s been a tough season with its share of challenges, but the BlueGreens’ newest number one has certainly showed he’s a key piece for the side as he prepares to now play in the knock stage of the season. He was helped along by a back line of Starling, McCarthy, Grzywa, and Condone, all of which improved on first half mistakes as Duluth came out strong in the second half to ensure their place on the table.
Duluth FC will play in the playoffs this Tuesday, thought the location and opponent will not be set until later this weekendwhen Cleveland SC faces the Erie Commodores as seeding involves all three conferences in the Midwest region.. Further updates can be expected from Duluth and league social media.