The Puerto Rico Islanders travel to Blaine, Minnesota to square off against the Minnesota Stars. The Islanders are currently in third place and have clinched a playoff berth. Kick off is set for 8:00 p.m. As always, fans can watch the game at the Islanders' Watch Party in Coladas Fine Puerto Rican Cuisine and Frozen Drink Bar at Verdanza Hotel in Isla Verde, starting at 8:00 p.m.
"The boys are in good spirits ahead of the game tomorrow, but now we have to back last Saturdays hard fought point against Fort Lauderdale with another strong performance against a tough Minnesota team," said Head Coach Adrian Whitbread.
The season so far.
It has been a difficult season for defending NASL champions the Minnesota Stars. Currently in the same position they finished last campaign in, the Stars will be hoping for a repeat playoff performance in a few weeks time should they secure qualification. Away from home, ties are the most often occurrence for the Stars, having recorded six alongside two wins and four defeats. Their last away points in the league coming in a 1-1 draw with FC Edmonton two weeks back.
The Stars travel to the Islanders off the back of a 1-0 loss against the San Antonio Scorpions and will be hoping to bounce back. In front of goal, the Stars match the Islanders with 29 goals scored but have conceded five more than the watertight "Tropa Naranja".
Last Time Out
The two sides have secured one win each as they enter the third of four fixtures this term. Last time the pair met, it was the Islanders who were able to take all three points with a 1-0 victory thanks to Noah Delgado. There was a tinge of revenge to the result with Minnesota having earlier recorded an emphatic 4-0 victory in what was the Islanders' joint heaviest defeat of the season so far.
With goals in short supply, Amani Walker is the man to watch for Minnesota. The former Jamaica U20 international spent time with Orange County Blue Star before making his move to the Stars, for whom he currently has six goals and four assists this campaign.
At 6' 2", Walker will give the Stars frontline much needed physicality up top, making it a potentially difficult outing for the Islanders backline.
Meanwhile at the other end of the field, goalkeeper Matt VanOekel will be the man charged with stopping the Islanders' attack. The 25 year old currently sits in the top five for shots saved in the NASL - matching the Islanders' Richard Martin for minutes played with 2160 for the season.