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When the crows shit on your car - On the bleachers for Fusion v Mpls City

First of all, may I just say what an untrammeled pain in the ass Minneapolis City supporters are. The headline of this piece is their favorite chant (to "Oh when the saints go marching in") and it sums them up nicely. I also think that these particular fans could dish it out but not take it. Simultaneously though there were entire sections of singing which I couldn't decypher. Is their capo from Belfast or was it just alcohol? I've never heard a Minnesotan accent like it.

Where it not for the politeness of their chairman (which I'm sure he would deny) and their need to scream loudly just to be heard amongst the competitive sports market of the Cities, I would want them to go somewhere and bother someone else but for now at least (no one knows what non-league life brings next) they are a conference rival for a spot in a national playoff and hopefully some much needed national media coverage for "D4" in the 'North'.

And maybe, just maybe, this Minneapolis vs Fargo thing might keep the Fusion alive or give some impetus to the so far fruitless search for a consistant fanbase. Also, to be fair, they didn't personally attack me, so that's always a bonus. 

As I told Dan Hoedeman, if Fusion were going to have a home game on July 4th weekend - when everyone else has buggered off to the lakes for the weekend - then at least it's a club with proven (albeit angry/grumpy) travelling fans.

I am going to finish this post with a link to un-edited audio of today's game from the bleachers, otherwise known in the sound art world as a "field recording". 

For the record, the owner of the Fusion was upset by the swearing - I am not. I've heard worse and said much worse than I heard or spoke today. If you would rather listen to the audio feel free. The following are my notes on the game those sounds captured.

Fusion fans need to learn how to chant. It took them 75 mins to even realise how much noise they would have to make (Fargodome wall of noise style banging, not chanting) to simply drown out the 'Citizens'. The only thing other than a goal which has an audible, positive effect on the volume in the Fusion section is the local guy made good, Jade Johnson. As you'll hear, once the referee started dishing out yellow (and eventually red) cards, even the Fusion fans started screaming and shouting, but by then it was arguably too late.

I didn't notice either club had taking advantage of the sun visibly impeding the goalies behind the country end (no idea what it's actually called, but the one where the hockey rink isn't). It was a beautiful 79 degree Summer evening in Moorhead. Unless you were the keeper at that end (or me trying to count attendance).
Minneapolis City: Hinds, Hoof, Kent, O'Brien, Runquist (GK) and Stockman-Willis          
Dakota Fusion: Harris (GK), Tarr, Musa, Bangura, Mberwa, K Robbins, Ncengetere, al-Abase, Johnson, Grant & Hartley 
In the first 15 mins,  I would argue City have had more possession but Fusion had the clearest chance. Louis Grant heading over the crossbar and between the American football posts. 

City should have scored in the 20th, when multiple players took touches in the 18 yd box but Jack Hartley had the final touch, and poked it wide of Steve Harris's goal. City had another couple of pot shots in the next couple of mins.
In the 27th minute, the Fusion blasted a chance wide of the upright.  
In the 30th minute, City had a free kick smothered by Steve, followed soon after by players pressing high against the Crows and forcing a non clearance by a defender, but Fusion didn't capitalise on the City keeper spilling the shot. 

In the 34th minute, Martin Browne Jr hit the crossbar for Minneapolis City. The first time anyone had been denied by anything other than poor aim or good goalkeeping. 

Louis Grant stabbed the ball wide from a Fusion corner on 35 minutes. It was followed in the 39th minute by Fusion's Hartrick Tarr dribbling to within the post but having the ball cleared. 
It was the Fusion's turn to have the woodwork (or maybe metalwork) intervene in the 43rd when a shot cannoned off the center of the crossbar before dropping invitingly to leading goalscorer Jade Johnson, who uncharacteristically blasted the ball over.
The second half started with both teams pushing for a decisive lead. The first chance of note came when City's Isaac Friendt shot over in the 52nd. They then followed up with their best chance to date, in the 59th, when a wayward attempted defensive clearance sliced back and barely wide of the Fusion goal and out for a corner, the subsequent chance was headed up and over. 
It was followed by a Fusion header over the crossbar from close range by Isaac Kehson, another usually sure-headed individual.

In the 67th minute, the Fusion had a long range shot on deflected wide. Nothing from the corner. Steve Harris saved a shot on the Fusion goal in the 70th comfortably.

Then we entered the Twilight Zone: Note to announcers: Put something on during an injury time out, or at the very least explain what s going on. Otherwise everyone looks like they are diving/cheating/flopping. 

City's keeper, Peter Runquist, left the game after receiving treatment for over 2 minutes. He wears 61 so I'm gonna guess that #1, Matt Elder, is actually the usual main guy. 

After the resumption of play, the Fusion had two corners cleared in quick succession but as often happens at this level,  
1-0 to City in the 76th. Whitney Browne scored a screamer, by the accounts I've seen. I actually missed it. Wouldn't surprise me since Steven Harris is a good keeper and it was a tight game.  Resulted in lots of noise (nothing new) and smoke (which was). Minneapolis City's social media accounts have it covered if you really want to know what kind of smoke. I was at midfield and whilst I could smell it, I have no intention of getting conjunctivitis from looking over. Side note: Fireworks are illegal in Minnesota, I'm not sure that smoke flares wouldn't also be. 

At 1-0, the game opened up more - but not massively. No more major chances worth noting, in my humble opinion. 

Both sets of fans actually booed injured players, which I have no time for. When the City players were helped off, I joined the applause that THEY ARE NOT MORE SERIOUSLY HURT.  

Seriously , don't boo when a player is being helped off the pitch. Unless they come back on, of course - but it didn't look like NPSL have that stupid rule that players must leave the pitch. 

Whoever the ref  was slowed down the game unnecessarily all game long but City deserved to win:
a) They largely shackled Fusion's attack b) They actually scored c) Some of them lost the plot far too easily after they went 1-0 down. The ref should never have to tell you to move away after you've fouled someone. The first red card only came in the 89th minute though (Zuheer al-Abase of the Fusion) so the ref can't be blamed for this loss.

I have no clue what the attendance was. Maybe the clubs could hazard a guess, but all in all the crows shat on my car so I went home to use the mental car wash.

The entire match, in audio only form:
I'm also led to believe that the entire match in video form will be uploaded here at some point 

My thanks again to Dakota Fusion for their hospitality and to Minneapolis City for bringing the noise. I look forward to many many more chances to cheer and boo the Citizens of Minneapolis and their team wherever in Fargo-Moorhead I find myself wandering next season.

Good luck to the Fusion in the remaining games, I would be very happy to see Fusion in the NPSL Playoffs this year.

Peace and love,