Indy Eleven and FC Edmonton remain the class of the NASL following Week 6, but it was a resounding win from an expansion side that served as the weekend’s highlight.
Miami FC cruised past Minnesota United, 4-0, on Saturday in what was the weekend’s most lopsided result. Both Indy Eleven and FC Edmonton joined Alessandro Nesta’s group as winners, defeating Ottawa Fury FC and Puerto Rico FC, respectively.
Elsewhere, Joe Cole led the Tampa Bay Rowdies to a derby win, while Rayo OKC earned a draw with the New York Cosmos.
Here’s a closer look at this past weekend’s NASL action:
MIAMI FC CRUISES PAST MINNESOTA UNITED
Miami FC has obviously improved since their last meeting with Minnesota United, but few could have predicted the expansion side would lay on the future MLS club.
Goals from Johnny Steele, Ariel Martinez, Kwadwo Poku and Aaron Dennis sealed a lopsided 4-0 victory for Alessandro Nesta’s side, one which saw domination beginning with a ninth minute opener. More goals followed swiftly after against an overmatched Minnesota United team, pushing Miami FC up to fifth in the standings, while the Loons remain just behind them in sixth place.
INDY ELEVEN EXTEND UNBEATEN RUN WITH WIN OVER FURY FC
Indy Eleven entered Week 6 atop the NASL standings, and the Spring Champions remained there with a narrow win over last year’s runners-up.
A stoppage time winner from Don Smart proved just enough to lead Indy Eleven in a 1-0 win, one that extends the team’s home unbeaten run to seven games. Set up by Dylan Mares, Smart volleyed a shot to the far post, earning his side’s 16th point from their eighth game. Fury FC, meanwhile, remains mid-table with nine points from seven matches.
EDDIES TOP PUERTO RICO FC TO KEEP PACE
FC Edmonton sat level on points for the league’s top spot, making Saturday’s clash with expansion side Puerto Rico FC a vital swing game heading down the stretch.
The Eddies took care of business, slipping past PRFC, 1-0, on a second half Tomi Ameobi finish. The win is FC Edmonton’s third straight win, but just their second in their last five matches away from home. The loss, meanwhile, sees Puerto Rico FC fall to 10th place in the Fall Standings.
COLE LEADS ROWDIES PAST STRIKERS
Joe Cole has lived up to the hype since joining the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Spring.
The English star provided a goal and an assist on Saturday, leading the way in a 2-1 derby win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Cole’s night began with an assist to Keith Savage in the 50th minute, as the former Chelsea midfielder found his teammate with a diagonal cross to open the scoring. Eighth minutes later, Cole got on the scoresheet himself, scoring what turned out to be the game-winner. The Strikers had a chance to pull back an equalizer late, but a Matt Pickens save of an Adrianinho penalty kick sealed the win for the Rowdies.
ARMADA, RAILHAWKS PLAY TO DRAW
In what turned out to be Tony Meola’s final game in charge, the Jacksonville Armada couldn’t find a way past the Carolina RailHawks.
The former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper was dismissed on Sunday, just hours after the Armada’s 2-2 draw with the RailHawks, who saw a goal and an assist from Mexican star Omar Bravo. A pair of goals from Charles Eloundou were not enough to earn the win, or save Meola’s job, even if the club ended a five-game losing streak with the draw.
RAYO OKC EARNS ROAD DRAW WITH COSMOS
Rayo OKC is in a major period of transition, but the first-year club made a statement by earning a draw against the reigning champions.
Days after seeing the departure of head coach Alen Marcina in favor of new boss Gerard Nus, Rayo OKC earned a 1-1 draw against the New York Cosmos at Shuart Stadium. Four minutes in, Billy Forbes fired Rayo OKC into a surprising lead before Adam Moffat leveled the scoreline from the penalty spot a few minutes before halftime. The draw pushes the Cosmos’ unbeaten home run to 11 games, while the Cosmos and Rayo OKC sit third and fourth, respectively, in the standings.