NY @ MIN 7/12 Preview


Photo by Meghan White

Written By: Ryan Baker, Journalist

Different venue, out-of-division matchup, and a Super Series game all come together for this Friday’s bout between the New York Empire and Minnesota Wind Chill.

The different venue that these two teams will play in will be TCO Stadium, the practice facility of the Minnesota Vikings. Last year, championship weekend was held at TCO, but this time the Wind Chill will be testing the waters for a regular season matchup. What better way to do so than against the back-to-back reigning champs?

“After playing at TCO Stadium last year for championship weekend, we wanted to test a regular season game to see what our fans would think of the venue, and determine if it might be a suitable fit for us as we continue to grow in attendance moving forward. We will learn a lot from operating this game on Friday, and look forward to getting feedback from our fans on their experience,” said head coach Ben Feldman.

This will also be the first time in Minnesota’s history to go up against the team from the Big Apple. However, some of the guys from the Empire aren’t unfamiliar with the ways of the Wind Chill as some of their top guys in Ben Jagt and Charles Weinberg are former Minnesota players. Another former Wind Chill player from the Empire is former MVP Ryan Osgar, but Osgar will not be playing in this matchup.

As for the Minnesota side, their lineup will be missing some key guys themselves. Bret Bergmeier, Noah Hanson, Jordan Taylor, and Tristan Van de Moortele will all be out for the Wind Chill’s third Super Series game of the year. However, big-time playmaker Quinn Snider will be making his return after being gone the past month.

“Preparation doesn’t change at all, even with being unavailable the last few weeks. I know how to prepare myself at this point, where even if I haven’t played with the guys I know how to insert myself back in and not cause a negative effect to the team. It’s an experienced O-line that has had a lot of time playing together, so even when guys come in and out, our structure remains the same and the way we want to play doesn’t alter,” said Snider

This is a huge game for both sides, despite both teams clinching playoff berths already. The Empire haven’t looked as dominant as they have in years past, standing at 7-3. New York has been the team to beat with three UFA championships in the last four years, and all three of those years, they were undefeated. On the flip side, Minnesota is battling for momentum after a brutal loss to the Chicago Union last week.

“We are fortunate to have an opponent like New York coming to town to play us as we continue to prepare for the postseason. Big game experience is what’s going to fuel us as we head into August when it matters most and we’re really looking forward to the challenge this Friday. We want nothing more than to give the home crowd a win after a lack luster showing this past weekend,” said Feldman.

Both teams have proven that they can be all-around squads. Both sit in the top-five of scores against, top-five in O-line conversion rate and hold percentage, and top-six in red zone conversion rate. The defining factor of this game will be if Minnesota can manage to force turnovers against an Empire team that doesn’t do that all too often. Minnesota sits at fourth in the league in blocks, while New York has turned over the disc the third fewest times in the league.

“They’ve been the team to beat for years now. I know a lot of guys, including myself, have had this one circled on the calendar since pre-season. The fact that it’s finally here and carries as much meaning as it does is really exciting. There’s a lot of storylines and hype around this game. We wouldn’t want it any other way. I know it means a lot of both teams, we both want to win. Everyone’s really excited, so it’ll be important to calm the nerves a bit and settle in as quickly as we can. I think it’s going to be an exchange of body shots throughout the game, obviously, I hope we are the ones delivering the knockout when it’s all said and done,” said Snider.

We will see if Minnesota can bounce back this week in a game of epic proportions, and make their case as a championship-caliber team with just two weeks remaining in the 2024 regular season.

To buy tickets to TCO Stadium this Friday at 7 p.m. CDT, click here!

To watch the free YouTube Super Series game online, click here!