Miguel Ibarra goes for goal against San Antonio on August 11. Image courtesy Jeremy Olson at DigitalGopher.net.
The Stars have failed to win seven in a row - and now have to try to end that streak against the NASL's best.
Seven games. That's the current winless streak for the Minnesota Stars: seven games without a win, four of them losses, three goals total in the skid. Coach Manny Lagos is starting to get a little peeved about the team's inability to score; according to mnstarsfc.com, the team did punishment drills this week in practice if a player shot high or wide or otherwise failed to test the goalkeeper.
This happened last year, too: the Stars turned around a seven-game slide just in time to sneak into the playoffs, and managed to launch a championship-winning campaign from there. But Saturday's opponent won't help Minnesota's confidence; the San Antonio Scorpions lead the league, have scored more goals than any other team, and have allowed fewer than any other. In short, they are dominating the league. Keep an eye on striker Pablo Campos, who leads the league with 18 goals - nine fewer than the entire Stars team has scored this year.
That said, it wasn't too long ago that Minnesota outplayed San Antonio at home; the Stars scored twice against the Scorpions on August 11, except that both goals were ruled offside. (A regular report would say that these calls were "very close calls." Another way of saying this is that "the referee was blind.) Late in the game, the Stars gave away a penalty, and ended up losing 1-0 in a game from which they deserved better.
Saturday night, we'll see if Minnesota can come up with another home performance against San Antonio - or if this year, they'll have an eight-game streak from which to try to come back.