After a majority of the results from last week in NASL were drab 1-1 draws, the league looks to offer some more interesting match-ups in week two.
Miami FC will get a chance to impress at home with a number of new players against the New York Cosmos. Alessandro Nesta’s team was extremely poor in the Spring, but have assembled a completely new midfield in hopes to make an impact this Fall.
Elsewhere, Minnesota United is coming off of a 5-1 thrashing of the Carolina RailHawks, but this weekend’s opponents in Indy Eleven are not likely to lie down the same way. The Spring Season champions are solid in all parts of the field, and proved in May that they can dismantle the Loons when they’re in form.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s NASL action:
JACKSONVILLE ARMADA VS. PUERTO RICO FC (SATURDAY, 7 P.M., ESPN 3)
After some roster moves following a disappointing Spring Season, Tony Meola and his Jacksonville Armada have a lot to fight for this Fall. The boys will be up against a brand new Puerto Rico FC team that are fighting for their starting spot, though.
Look for another exciting performance for Zach Steinberger of the Armada, as well as a potent counter attacking style from Puerto Rico FC.
CAROLINA RAILHAWKS VS. TAMPA BAY ROWDIES (SATURDAY, 7:30 P.M., ESPN 3)
The Carolina Railhawks’ fall from their hot start continued last weekend, as they fell 5-1 to Minnesota United. In Week 2, they’ll have a chance to steady the ship, but it won’t be easy against the rejuvenated Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Stu Campbell’s Rowdies were slow at the start despite their number of off-season acquisitions, but things are starting to click for the men in green and yellow. Watch out for the team’s newest big-name signing in Joe Cole, who has turned back the clock since coming to NASL.
INDY ELEVEN VS. MINNESOTA UNITED (SATURDAY, 7:30 P.M., beIN Sports)
Fresh off of their Spring Season title, Indy Eleven fought back late to secure a point against league newcomers Puerto Rico FC last week. They face a much tougher task this weekend, though, against a Minnesota United team in scintillating form.
The Eleven’s Eamon Zayed is more likely to get on the scoresheet to stay off it these days, but they’ll need an all-around performance from the boys in blue to fight off Christian Ramirez and Minnesota United’s red-hot attack.
MIAMI FC VS. NEW YORK COSMOS (SATURDAY, 8 P.M., ESPN 3)
Gabriel Farfan will immediately come up against his former employers this Saturday, as Miami FC go head-to-head with the giants of NASL in the New York Cosmos.
The defender joins up with Michael Lahoud, Kwadwo Poku and Richie Ryan as one of Miami FC’s high-profile recent moves. Alessandro Nesta’s team is taking a new shape, but one would find it unlikely that they’ll be in form to unseat the Cosmos this weekend.
Gio Savarese’s men will have to be up to the task, though, as they travel south to the heat and humidity of Miami.
OTTAWA FURY VS. RAYO OKC (SUNDAY 12 P.M., ESPN 3)
The Ottawa Fury managed just a stoppage-time goal as consolation in their first game of the Fall Season last week, but now match up against a less intimidating opponent in Rayo OKC.
The teams both sit near the bottom of the combined standings, but Rayo showed more grit and talent in their first run out as a team in the Spring. Performances from Derek Boateng, Robbie Findley and Michel all led to an impressive campaign for the newcomers, while Fury have fallen off since their squad was dismantled in the off-season. On Sunday, it’ll be a battle between the cohesive defense of the Fury and the offensive weapons in OKC.
FC EDMONTON VS. FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS (SUNDAY, 4 P.M., ESPN 3)
Two teams on hot streaks face off in the last game of the weekend this Sunday, as late-game warriors FC Edmonton host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The Eddies quietly snuck up to end the Spring Season just a point behind first place, and now have a chance to stake their claim for a spot in the playoffs. Their opponents this weekend have shown improvement as of late after a poor start to the season, and the Strikers are finding their form at a crucial time now in mid-season.