The NASL playoff race is heating up.
A number of mid-table clubs are poised to make big jumps toward the top four with wins this weekend, while the race at the top also heats up. With New York Cosmos undefeated at home, the reigning champions have a good chance to challenge FC Edmonton for the top spot in the Fall Season. Meanwhile, Indy Eleven faces a visit to Canada to take on Ottawa Fury FC.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s action.
NEW YORK COSMOS vs. CAROLINA RAILHAWKS (Saturday, 7 p.m., One World Sports)
The Cosmos take an undefeated home record into this clash Saturday night, while the Carolina Railhawks are also a hot team. Having grabbed late winners last week, both teams come into this match with a lot of confidence.
The Railhawks continue a march toward playoff contention and could find themselves on the doorstep of the top four with a win in this match. Midseason signing Omar Bravo has been in excellent form, coupled with five goals on the season from Matt Fondy. The Cosmos can make the race for the top spot a lot closer with a win in this match, as they trail FC Edmonton by two points.
TAMPA BAY ROWDIES vs. RAYO OKC (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., BeIN Sports)
The Rowdies look to avoid the bottom of the table again this week, while Rayo OKC readies to make a run at the playoffs.
Looking for their first win under new coach Gerard Nus, Rayo OKC is sixth on the table. The team can move as high as fourth with a win. A trip to Al Lang Stadium for Rayo OKC might be the perfect thing to keep the team’s improvement going. Tampa Bay lost, 1-0, to league-leaders FC Edmonton last weekend at home.
MIAMI FC vs. MINNESOTA UNITED (Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPN3)
Fourth-place Miami FC continues to excel, but runs into a tough-to-beat Minnesota United team. This is the closest match of the weekend in the standings, as Minnesota stands in fourth and Miami stands in fifth.
Both teams had trouble scoring in recent games and both recorded scoreless draws last weekend. Miami FC looks to have an edge in this game as the home team, while Minnesota United haven’t won an away match since April.
OTTAWA FURY vs. INDY ELEVEN (Sunday, 2 p.m., ESPN3)
The Fury have some work to do to enter the playoff picture, but Indy Eleven look to challenge the Cosmos for a top two position.
Ottawa stays at home for the second game in a row Sunday. The team previously held Miami FC to a scoreless draw. Holding Indy Eleven from scoring will be a little more difficult, as forward Eamon Zayed is the league’s second-highest scorer.
FC EDMONTON vs. PUERTO RICO ISLANDERS (Sunday, 4 p.m., ESPN3)
This Sunday afternoon match pits the top team in the NASL against the bottom team.
While Puerto Rico played a competitive game with the Cosmos last weekend, Andres Flores notched a late winner to stun the expansion side. FC Edmonton looks to stay on top of the table, which should be easy with a game in hand over the second-place Cosmos and a match against the bottom-dwellers.