FC Tampa Bay vs. NSC Minnesota Stars
Saturday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida
Be the 12th Man with $12 reserved or general admission tickets in advance (must be purchased by Noon on gameday for this offer). To order your tickets, call (813) 287-1539 or to order online click here.
You can also purchase tickets at the stadium box office on gameday. The box office opens on gameday at 4:00 p.m.
Play-by-Play: Mike Pepper
The match can also be seen live online at www.fctampabay.com
FC Tampa Bay: 11-8-9, 41 points, 3rd seed
NSC Minnesota: 9-9-10, 36 points, 6th seed
2011 Series (W-T-L): 2-2-0
FC Tampa Bay captured the season series with two victories and two ties against NSC Minnesota.
What’s at Stake:
FC Tampa Bay hosts its first-ever postseason match this Saturday night against Minnesota in a one-game single-elimination NASL quarterfinal at Al Lang Stadium.
In the first matchup on May 28 in Blaine, Minnesota the teams played to a scoreless draw. FC Tampa Bay used goals by midfielder Pascal Millien and defender Frankie Sanfilippo to post a 2-0 victory on August 13 at Al Lang Stadium. The Stars fell again on September 6 with an early goal from midfielder Keith Savage and the game-winner off midfielder Mozzi Gyorio’s 77th minute free kick for the 2-1 victory at NSC Stadium, which sealed FC Tampa Bay's first-ever playoff berth. FC Tampa Bay clinched a first-round home playoff game on September 17 with a 1-1 draw against the Stars in St. Petersburg. Minnesota forward Brian Cvilikas scored in the 54th minute assisted by midfielder Anthony Hamilton. Forward Aaron King answered back five minutes later, scoring off an assist by forward Mike Ambersley.
FC Tampa Bay hosts its first-ever postseason match against NSC Minnesota in a one-game single-elimination NASL quarterfinal. FC Tampa Bay captured the season series against the Stars with two wins and two ties. In two meetings at Al Lang in 2011, FCTB posted a 2-0 victory (8/13) and a 1-1 draw (9/17) against NSC Minnesota.
FC Tampa Bay clinched the third seed in the NASL playoffs with a 2-0 shutout of Ft. Lauderdale at home last Saturday. Midfielder Keith Savage scored his fourth goal of the season (68’) off an assist from M Shane Hill. Forward Matt Clare sealed the win with his second goal of the year (90’+) from forward Mike Ambersley.
FC Tampa Bay had several players among the league leaders for the 2011 regular season. Forward Mike Ambersley ranked tied for third in the NASL with 11 goals and third in assists with seven. Forward Aaron King finished tied for fifth in the league in both goals (9) and assists (5). Midfielder Pascal Millien also tied for fifth with his five assists. Rookie goalkeeper Jeff Attinella led the league with 128 saves.
NSC Minnesota grabbed the sixth and final spot in the postseason with a 2-1 win last Saturday at Carolina. Brian Cvilikas broke a 1-1 tie with the game-winner in the 52nd minute for the Stars and finished a run of three goals in four minutes.
Simone Bracalello led the Stars this season with six goals. Goalkeeper Joe Warren ranked sixth in the league with a 1.11 goals against average and NSC Minnesota allowed 32 goals, tied for the third-fewest in the league in 2011.
The winner of the match advances to the NASL Semifinal round next weekend. If FC Tampa Bay wins, it would face Puerto Rico in the home-and-home semifinal series. The first leg would take place next Saturday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Bayamon, Puerto Rico at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium. FC Tampa Bay would then host the second leg at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. If NSC Minnesota wins, it would move onto the NASL semifinals and face Carolina.