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Stars vs. Edmonton: Stars Lead 1-0 At Halftime

Stop me if you've heard this one: the Minnesota Stars lead 1-0 at halftime. Just like last week. And the week before - and both of those games ended in 1-1 draws. To say that another 1-1 draw appears to be on the cards would be an understatement.

The game was 17 minutes old when Amani Walker put the Stars in front. New signing Jamie Watson was fouled in his own half, but had the presence of mind to get up and move the ball quickly after two Edmonton players had stopped to argue with the ref. He took the ball deep into the Edmonton half, then pushed it out wide to Justin Davis on the overlap down the left wing. Davis knocked a cross back across the top of the six-yard box, where Walker was arriving to prod past the onrushing keeper.

Watson has been the attacking impetus for the Stars in the first half. He's shown creativity, scooping the ball from midfield over a defender to release Walker, though the big forward turned out to be just offside. He's also shown a willingness to shoot, driving a cross just wide of the post from in front of goal. If the Stars are to break their one-goal, hard-luck hoodoo, it looks like it'll be Watson that makes the difference.

Meanwhile, Edmonton has mostly been content to wait for set pieces and Stars defensive miscues, of which there have been several of each. Michael Cox was gifted a chance from a wayward pass, but with only the onrushing Matt Van Oekel to beat, his attempted curl around the keeper drifted wide of the far post. Cox has looked by far the most dangerous Eddie going forward.

One factor to keep an eye on: the wind is still whipping through the National Sports Center, from left to right in your internet box. The Stars had the wind-aided advantage in the first half, but Edmonton will have it in the second half as they search for the - seemingly inevitable - equalizer.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.