photo courtesy of Rich Rawson Photography/Ft. Lauderdale Strikers
By FRANCO PANIZO
If the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers were hoping to end August on a strong note, they did just that by defeating the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions this past weekend.
The Strikers topped the Scorpions, 2-1, in front of 3,268 fans at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday courtesy of two second-half strikes from Abe Thompson. The Ft. Lauderdale forward netted twice in 10 minutes before San Antonio pulled one back through Javier Saavedra.
Fortunately for the Strikers, the Scorpions never found an equalizer and that helped Ft. Lauderdale close in on second place in the league table. The Strikers currently are in fourth with 34 points, two shy of both the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Puerto Rico Islanders.
Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 21 action in NASL:
RAILHAWKS GRAB NARROW WIN OVER SILVERBACKS
The Carolina RailHawks got a step closer to assuring themselves of a spot in the postseason, but they did so by the narrowest of margins. The RailHawks moved into fifth place in the standings after edging out the Atlanta Silverbacks, 1-0, courtesy of a second-half goal from Brian Ackley o Saturday. The tally came in the 66th minute, and it sent the 4,896 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park home with a bitter taste in their mouths.
ARGUEZ EQUALIZER EXTENDS STARS WINLESS STREAK
Minnesota Stars FC just cannot put an end to their slide in the NASL standings. The Stars were winless for a seventh consecutive game after settling for a 1-1 draw with FC Edmonton in front of a crowd of 2,427 at NSC Stadium on Saturday. Cristiano Dias netted the opener in the first half, but Eddies midfielder Bryan Arguez, who is on loan from the Montreal Impact, equalized in the second half with his first goal of the season.
ROWDIES, ISLANDERS SETTLE FOR SCORELESS DRAW
The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Puerto Rico Islanders had a chance to create some distance between themselves in the league table, but neither was able to jump out in front of the other on points. The second-place Islanders and third-place Rowdies played to a scoreless draw at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday, leaving them both with 36 points on the season and six behind league leaders, the San Antonio Scorpions. Both teams had chances but failed to find the back of the net in a game that saw 3,125 supporters in the stands.
1. San Antonio Scorpions (12-5-6, 42 points, +21 GD)
2. Puerto Rico Islanders (10-7-6, 36 points, +6 GD)
3. Tampa Bay Rowdies (10-7-6, 36 points, +1 GD)
4. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (9-8-7, 34 points, -2 GD)
5. Carolina RailHawks (8-7-7, 31 points, -4 GD)
6. Minnesota Stars FC (7-8-8, 29 points, -1 GD)
7. FC Edmonton (5-11-7, 22 points, -5 GD)
8. Atlanta Silverbacks (4-12-7, 19 points, -16 GD)
What do you think of this weekend's NASL action? Think the Strikers can finish in one of the top two spots in the standings? What is wrong with the Stars right now?
Share your thoughts below.