By MIKE GRAMAJO
After taking pole position atop the North American Soccer League standing last week, the Carolina RailHawks look to continue their current good form as they welcome Minnesota United FC to WakeMed Soccer Park (Saturday, 7 p.m. WATCH HERE).
RailHawks forward Brian Shriver, who bagged a brace against the New York Cosmos last Saturday, currently leads the NASL Golden Boot race with 11 goals. Meanwhile, Minnesota United’s Pablo Campos is a player to be reckoned with, as he looks to add more to his goal total after scoring two goals in his last two matches for Minnesota.
Both clubs last met in June, which saw the RailHawks pick up a 3-2 home victory thanks to catalyst Brian Shriver’s two-goal game.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s NASL matchups:
NEW YORK COSMOS vs. SAN ANTONIO SCORPIONS (Saturday, 7 p.m. WATCH HERE)
Despite only grabbing one point out of an available six points in the past two weeks, the New York Cosmos return to the comforts of home
Giovanni Savarese’s side took a huge blow in the NASL standings, falling 3-0 to the Carolina RailHawks last Saturday. While the Cosmos look to spark momentum, they will have to go through a San Antonio Scorpions side that sit at the bottom of the table, a jaw-dropper after finishing the spring season on a four-game winning streak.
Scorpions forward Hans Denissen is second in the NASL Golden Boot race with 10 goals and the Scorpions will need his presence against a Cosmos crowd that drew 11,929 during their home opener.
ATLANTA SILVERBACKS vs. FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. WATCH HERE)
While the Atlanta Silverbacks sit in third place in the NASL standings, you can’t forget that they’re currently five-games unbeaten, their last defeat occurring in June against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Brian Haynes’ side enters Saturday night’s match at Atlanta Silverbacks Park knowing that they have taken the lead in their last two matches but let it slip away as the games progressed. The Silverbacks will look to win their first regular season home game since May.
The Strikers snapped their seven game winless skid last week, taking a 2-1 road victory over the San Antonio Scorpions. Gunter Kronsteiner’s team face a tougher opponent, as the Silverbacks boost the NASL’s top midfielder in Danny Barrera, who leads the league with six assists.
TAMPA BAY ROWDIES vs. FC EDMONTON (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. WATCH HERE)
The Atlanta Silverbacks aren’t the only NASL side that’s looking to extend their unbeaten streak. The Tampa Bay Rowdies look to extend their five-game unbeaten run when they welcome FC Edmonton to Al Lang Stadium.
The Rowdies needed a stoppage-time goal from Andres Arango in the dying seconds of the game against Minnesota United to earn a point. Ricky Hill’s side hold arguably the best offense in the NASL, with Georgi Hristov, Luke Mulholland, Keith Savage, and Etienne Barbara combine for 19 goals, which also leads the league in scoring.
However, if there is one thing standing in the Rowdies way, it’s the Eddies two-game unbeaten streak, and have Vancouver Whitecaps forward Corey Hertzog on-loan, having already opened his scoring account for the Eddies.
What do you think of the Week 4 matchups? Do you see the RailHawks continuing their winning form? Do you see the Cosmos defeating a struggling Scorpions side? Do you believe the Silverbacks and Rowdies can extend their unbeaten run?
Share your thoughts below.