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Minnesota United claims spring championship
June 7th, 2014 10:55PM
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[NASL: Week 9] Minnesota United FC clinched the 2014 NASL spring season with a 3-3 tie at host Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday evening. The Loons finished atop of the spring season standings with a 6-1-2 record for 20 points.
 
The wild game had plenty of action, with the lead bouncing back and forth between the two clubs. Down 2-1 at halftime, Minnesota got goals in the second half from Daniel Mendes and Miguel Ibarra and ceded a late equalizer, but a draw was all Minnesota needed.  
 
"It feels great, we had a tough end to the first half, but a great start to the second half," said Minnesota captain Aaron Pitchkolan. "We played some really good soccer and its kind of been a blueprint for the season, overcoming adversity and coming on strong at the end." 
 
This is United's first title since 2011 when it captured the inaugural NASL championship over the Strikers. 

"Tonight was a great game," said Loons coach Manny Lagos. "It took a lot for us to win the spring championship. We had to go on the road twice to get results [in the last two weeks] and we were challenged in both games and great stuff by the guys, couldn't be prouder. Tonight was an outstanding game and the character of this team came through."

Minnesota will be joined by the fall winner along with the next two clubs with the best overall records from both seasons combined in the playoffs.

June 7 in Tampa, Fla.
Tampa Bay 3 Minnesota 3. Goals: Wagner 33, Mkosana 45, Ibarra 61; Davis 12, Mendes 57, Ibarra 61.
Tampa Bay -- Mizell; Sanfilippo, Clinton, Rodrigues, Wallace; Mkosana, Hill, Russell, Wagner; Hristov, Townsend (Cort 86)
Minnesota -- Hildebrandt; Kallman, Calvano, Pitchkolan, Davis; Mendes (Daley 75), Vicentini, Jordan, Watson (Dias 81); Ibarra, Ramirez (Garcia 90).

-- Expansion Indy Eleven finished winless when it had to settle for a 3-3 tie at Atlanta.

NASL WEEK 9, Results:
Saturday, June 7
7:30 pm ET

Atlanta 3 Indy Eleven 3
Tampa Bay 3 Minn. United 3
8:30 pm ET
San Antonio 2 Ft. Lauderdale 2

NASL WEEK 9, Schedule:
Sunday, June 8
4 pm ET
FC Edmonton vs. Carolina
5 pm ET
New York vs. Ottawa

NASL Spring Standings:
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
20 Minn. United 6-1-2 16/9
17 San Antonio 5-2-2 13/9
16 New York 5-2-1 13/3
14 Carolina 4-2-2 10/9
13 Ft. Lauderdale 4-4-1 18/18
10 Ottawa 3-4-1 14/12
10 Tampa Bay 2-3-4 11/14
10 Atlanta 3-5-1 12/20
5 FC Edmonton 1-5-2 5/10
4 Indy Eleven 0-5-4 14/20


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