We haven't been covering much of the Minnesota Stars FC soccer team this year, so here's a paragraph to bring you up to speed:
The Stars, who are the defending North American Soccer League champions, started the 2012 season on a nine-match unbeaten streak. In mid-June, though, they lost the final tilt of an epic road trip 5-1, and have since reverted to a more hit-and-miss form. With seven games to go in the season (out of 28), the Stars sit fifth in the NASL standings, three points behind fourth-place Fort Lauderdale.
All caught up? Good.
Saturday, Minnesota visits the last-place Atlanta Silverbacks, looking to end a run of five matches without a victory. This is the fourth meeting between the teams this year; the teams took a 2-0 win apiece in Minnesota. In the earlier match in Atlanta, however, Devin Del Do and Justin Davis both scored in the final five minutes of the match to snatch a 3-3 tie out of the jaws of defeat. (Frankly, you need to see Davis's goal, a 35-yard screamer in second-half stoppage time. Click here to see it on YouTube.)
The Silverbacks come into the weekend with a new coach; David Haynes takes over from former US men's national team star Eric Wynalda, who served as interim manager this season.
Meanwhile, the Stars are stuck in a struggle to get the ball in the net. Minnesota's scored just once in its past four games, and has lost 1-0 three times in that span.