Minnesota Super Cup Preview: Minneapolis City vs MNUFC U19

MNUFC Academy faces Colorado Rapids Academy at MLS NEXT Fest in December 2022 (Photo courtesy MNUFC)

Friday night in Minneapolis at Edor Nelson Field the Minnesota United FC Academy’s U19 side will begin their participation in the inaugural edition of the Minnesota Super Cup. The Loons will face USL League Two side Minneapolis City SC in the Crows 2023 home opener, ahead of the Crows USL2 season starting. This will be the first time that a Loons side will face the Crows in competitive play since the old MNUFC Reserves side played in the Premier League of America in 2016.

MNUFC’s U19 side will play in Group A in the Minnesota Super Cup alongside the aforementioned Minneapolis City SC, Duluth FC is the final member of the group. The U19’s will head to Duluth to face the BlueGreens on June 7th in the Loons second match of the group stage. Following the group stage the top two teams in each group will qualify for the semi-finals, to be played between July 21-23. The two semi-final winners will then head to the Minnesota Super Cup Final on July 29th at Macalaster Stadium in St. Paul, MN.

The Minnesota United U19 side will come in with an advantage of having played 10 matches already in 2023, while Minneapolis City will be playing their first of 14 first team matches. The Loons U19 side has struggled as of late, going 1-4-0 in their last five matches in MLS Next Mid America league play. MNUFC U19 did finish the 2022-23 MLS Next Flex season in fourth place with a 9-5-1 record, qualifying themselves for the MLS Next Flex tournament taking place May 12-16 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD. On the flip side the U19’s have gone 3-5-2 in league play in 2023, currently sitting in 8th place, well outside the top two provided berths to the MLS Next Cup Playoffs.

The opposing bench will have a familiar look to Loons fans as former NASL era coach Carl Craig will lead the Crows, having taken over the role of head coach from GM Matt VanBenschoten over the offseason. Minneapolis City SC on will be looking to start their 2023 season on a much better note than they did in 2022. After having a “first team” in both the NPSL and USL2, the Crows have dropped the NPSL side and gone all in with USL2 for their first team. In a surprising twist, after having never finished lower than third previously, both of the Crows sides struggled during 2022. The NPSL side finished 7-6-1 (22 points) in fourth place in the NPSL North Conference, while over in the USL the Crows finished 1-9-2 (5 points) and slotting in at 6th place in the six team Deep North Conference.

For those unable to make the Twin Cities clash, Minneapolis City SC will be streaming the match on Eleven Sports. Kickoff it set for 7pm from Edor Nelson Field on the campus of Augsburg University in Minneapolis. For a larger breakdown of the Minnesota Super Cup, you can head over to our sister site Northern Lights Football to read their preview on the the MNSC.