The Week That Was 2/20/23

Major League Indoor Soccer officially has its first rivalry. The Cleveland Crunch and Rapid City FC played one of the most memorable games of the season Saturday, an 8-7 overtime win by Grand Rapids. The win catapulted Rapid City into first place in the Eastern Division. Both of Rapid City's losses came at the hands of the Crunch and two out of Cleveland's three losses have come via Grand Rapids. The contentious game stirred the emotions of the players and fans of both teams and raised anticipation for a possible playoff rematch.

Monday, February 20

Chicago 12 Milwaukee 2 F

Brew City United's rough weekend turned into a rough holiday weekend with a 12-2 loss Monday at the hands of the Chicago Mustangs. Gabriel Uno had cuatro goals for Chicago (4-2). Milwaukee, who was outscored in two games last week by a combined 29-5, got both of their goals in the second half. United fell to 0-5.

Saturday, February 25

Grand Rapids 8 Cleveland 7 OT

The week's most anticipated game overdelivered. Rapid City FC leap frogged the Cleveland Crunch to take over first place in the Eastern Division. Elmedin Zukic scored in sudden death overtime on a Boban Cancar turnover after Cleveland had rallied from a 7-5 deficit to send the game into the extra period. It was the first home loss for the Crunch and the first loss anywhere over the last three years for goalkeeper Marijo Musa.

Chicago 10 Milwaukee 5 F

The Chicago Mustangs won their third straight game, 10-5 over Brew City United. Milwaukee (0-6) took their first ever lead in a game on David Valdivia's first of three goals on the night, but the Mustangs scored the next five goals and never looked back. Bruce Ruiz had a hat trick for Chicago (5-2).

Houston 17 Springfield 5 F

Last week's other battle for first place underdelivered. Not too long ago, the Houston Bolt (7-3) was teetering after losing at home to the Wichita Selection, with two road games at Wichita on the horizon. But the Bolt took both of those road games and on Saturday they destroyed the Springfield Demize (6-4) 17-5.  David Brown and Jordi Cobo each had four goals for Houston.

Cincinnati 9 Detroit 2 F

The Detroit Waza Flo stayed close to the Cincinnati Swerve for most of the first half, but the league's second most anemic offense couldn't touch the Swerve in the second half. A game that was 2-2 early in the second quarter turned into a 9-2 Cincinnati win. Bbuye Manisuul had a breakout night with three goals and an assist, and scoring sensation Fin Sallows had three goals and two assists, mostly when the game was already out of reach.

Omaha 14 Rockford 8 F

Saturday's game between the Omaha Kings (7-0) and Illinois State Line Falcons (1-5) was a microcosm of both teams' seasons. The Falcons showed brilliance at times, but could not put together a full 60 minutes. After falling into an early 4-0 hole, Illinois surprised Omaha with five straight goals, only to be outscored 10-3 the rest of the way in the Kings 14-8 win. Manuel Lira had his third four-goal game of the season and has scored at least twice in every game this year.

Sunday, February 26

Springfield 6 Austin 4 F

The Springfield Demize (7-4) needed to beat the Austin Emerald (0-8) to salvage their weekend and that's exactly what they did despite struggling to close out the last place Emerald. It was the first time all year that Austin allowed fewer than 10 goals. Leonardo Borges had a hat trick for Springfield.

Grand Rapids 11 Detroit 4 F

The Detroit Waza Flo, trying to spark the struggling former two time Ron Newman Cup finalists, brought back team legends Miki Djerisilo, Nikki Djokic, and Aaron Byrd, but it wasn't enough to hang with MLIS's hottest team. Rapid City FC (7-2) beat Detroit (1-8) 11-4. Like Saturday, the Waza Flo managed a 2-2 tie into the second quarter before running out of ammunition. TJ Ifaturoti had two goals and four assists for Grand Rapids.

...and coming up:
Eastern Division
Cincinnati Swerve 3/5/23 at Detroit
Cleveland Crunch 3/11/23 at Cincinnati
Detroit Waza Flo 3/5/23 vs. Cincinnati
Rapid City FC 3/12/23 at Cincinnati

Central Division
Brew City United 3/4/23 vs. Chicago
Chicago Mustangs 3/4/23 at Milwaukee, 3/5/23 vs. Omaha
Illinois State Line Falcons 3/4/23 vs. Omaha
Omaha Kings 3/4/23 at Illinois, 3/5/23 at Chicago

Southern Division
Austin Emerald 3/4/23 vs. Houston
Houston Bolt 3/4/23 at Austin
Springfield Demize 3/4/23 at Wichita
Wichita Selection 3/4/23 vs. Springfield