By MIKE GRAMAJO
The Carolina RailHawks, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Minnesota United FC are tied in second place as they enter week nine of the first half of the North American Soccer League season this weekend.
The RailHawks downed an noticeably weaker Los Angeles Galaxy side, 2-0, on Wednesday at WakeMed Soccer Park during U.S. Open Cup play. They will visit the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who sit in sixth place with seven points, on Saturday at Lockhart Stadium. The RailHawks had a bye-week the week prior to the Galaxy match, while the Strikers took an important road victory last week when they topped the Eddies 1-0 at Clark Stadium.
Minnesota United are eying to add more misery to the San Antonio Scorpions — who sit in last place in the table with five points — when they visit Toyota Field on Saturday. The Scorpions suffered their fourth loss of the season, succumbing to a 1-0 loss against the Atlanta Silverbacks. United took an avenging victory last week, topping the Rowdies 3-2 at Al Lang Field after losing to them the week prior at the Metrodome with the same margin.
Another match with big implications for the spring campaign will take place on Sunday as Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov, who has four goals this season, will lead the Rowdies as they visit Clarke Stadium on Sunday to battle FC Edmonton. Both the Rowdies and Eddies competed in a 1-1 draw earlier this season, but it’s the Rowdies who entering this weekend with momentum after defeating MLS’ Seattle Sounders 1-0 on Wednesday during Open Cup play.
Here’s the full list of matches for Week Nine in the North American Soccer League:
7:30pm — Fort Lauderdale Strikers Vs. Carolina RailHawks: WATCH HERE
8:30pm — San Antonio Scorpions Vs. Minnesota United FC: WATCH HERE
4:00pm — FC Edmonton Vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies: WATCH HERE
Team To Watch: The Tampa Rowdies are arguably the only team entering week nine with positive momentum, after defeating the Seattle Sounders earlier this week during Open Cup play. Despite being in a three-way tie in second place, the Rowdies look to have the toughest opponent this weekend. While the RailHawks and United face bottom of the table sides, the Rowdies face a tough Edmonton side who look to jump closer to the summit.