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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Velocity travels to play red-shot Northern Colorado in Jagermeister Cup

Spokane Velocity midfielder Luis Gil goes for a shot against Lexington on Sunday at ONE Spokane Stadium.  (Courtesy of Spokane Velocity)
By Ethan Myers The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Velocity will look to get back on track this weekend as the club visits the hottest team in USL League One.

It has been well over a month since the Velocity have won a league game, and the team may have its hands full against a surging Northern Colorado Hailstorm on Saturday in Windsor, Colorado, as Jagermeister Cup play picks back up.

“To raise the bar another level from our last performance and continue to improve in a tough environment against a (tough) team,” Spokane coach Leigh Veidman said about what he wants to see from his club this weekend.

With only four matches left in the group stage of the in-season cup, Spokane, which sits in third of four teams in the cup standings, has some work to do to pick up some ground before the knockout stage starts.

Northern Colorado, which is neck-and-neck with Union Omaha in the group stage, has not lost a league match since April 6, recording five wins and three draws in the last eight matches.

The Hailstorm have also tallied three straight wins over Omaha, Central Valley Fuego and One Knoxville Sporting Club.

Northern Colorado has found recent success thanks to strong play on both sides of the pitch, but primarily through a surge in scoring – netting 20 goals over the last eight matches.

But the Hailstorm have played particularly well in the Jagermeister Cup. Led by 24-year old Bruno Manuel Rendon, the center back has notched five goals in Northern Colorado’s four cup games. Forward Ethan Hoard and winger Billy King have a combined five assists in those matches.

The club’s defense has stood out as well, as the Hailstorm have only conceded seven goals in regular season play – good for second best in the league.

In the two clubs’ only other matchup, the Velocity earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory at home.

Since that March 23 match, the Velocity have only beaten two other league teams in eight matchups, while also recording four draws and two losses.

The club, still developing in its first year as a franchise, has shown flashes of brilliance on the field and done a proficient job at creating scoring chances, but has often struggled to convert on those opportunities.

Overall in league standings, Spokane sits eighth at 3-3-2, a spot behind Northern Colorado, which is 3-2-2.

The match will kick off at 6 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.