With a 2-0 win in Leg 1 of the NASL Championship Series, the defending Soccer Bowl Trophy Minnesota Stars FC are 90 minutes away from a second trophy. It could also be the final 90 minutes in franchise history.
Goals by Amani Walker and Martin Nunez in front of a home-crowd of 4,642 have given the sixth-seeded Stars FC a commanding lead heading into Leg 2 to be played in Tampa on October 27. The Tampa Bay Rowdies finished 2nd in the NASL regular season standings.
Last season, Minnesota took a similar 2-goal lead into the final leg against Fort Lauderdale enroute to winning the first ever Soccer Bowl Trophy.
The bigger story could unfold later this winter, as the NASL-owned Minnesota Stars FC franchise could be put on ice. With the addition of expansion club New York Cosmos in 2013 and Ottawa in 2014, the team with no local ownership could find itself with no field to play on.
If a local ownership group is not found, I would expect the NASL to put the Stars FC franchise on hiatus next year. An odd result for a group on players, who may become 2-time league playoff champions in the short history of the new NASL.