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NASL Week 12: Look Ahead

The past week has been rather eventful for NASL.

The New York Cosmos finalized two signings this week, adding midfielder Kobi Moyal from Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem while bringing back a familiar face, Lucky Mkosana, from Finnish club IFK Marriehamn. 

Miami FC is gearing up for round five of the U.S. Open Cup, with the Cosmos serving as a great opportunity to tune up before facing MLS side Atlanta United on June 28.

In the league, Miami still sits atop the table, seven points clear of the second place San Francisco Deltas. Puerto Rico FC sits at the bottom of the table, as they still are experiencing defensive difficulties this season. The Cosmos have been climbing the table in recent weeks, and Indy Eleven, now with their first win of the season, will be looking to capitalize off of their success. 

Here is a closer look at the weekend’s impending action:

NEW YORK COSMOS AT MIAMI FC (SATURDAY, 7:30PM, BEIN SPORTS)

The New York Cosmos and Miami FC will face off on in a king of the hill matchup on Saturday night. Miami FC has been incredible this season, dropping only one game in its first twelve league matches. Miami FC is also coming off of a convincing 4-0 victory over Jacksonville Armada last weekend where the team’s MVP Vincenzo Rennella scored a brace and added an assist to his tally. 

The New York Cosmos are also coming off of a win, a 4-2 thrashing of bottom of the table Puerto Rico FC. The Cosmos have been good this season, scoring the second most goals in the league as the club sits in third in the league table. The Cosmos are undefeated on the road this season, only one of three teams to achieve that feat this season. 

INDY ELEVEN AT NORTH CAROLINA FC (SATURDAY, 7:30PM, ESPN3)

After capturing their first win of the season, Indy Eleven will travel to the home of North Carolina FC on Saturday night. Indy Eleven has struggled this season, scoring the third-fewest goals in the league and conceding the second most. The side will be hoping to carry over momentum from last week’s victory into what is seeming to be an exciting match on the road.

North Carolina FC faced Indy Eleven last weekend, dropping the result, 2-0. Despite the attacking presence of Lance Laing, who has been fantastic for the side this season, North Carolina FC looked lackluster, and have for a few matches now. Going into the weekend, it will be important to keep an eye on  Laing and the form of goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, as both players’ performance will be crucial to getting a home result on Saturday. 

SAN FRANCISCO DELTAS AT FC EDMONTON (SATURDAY, 9:00PM, ESPN3)

For the last game on Saturday night, the San Francisco Deltas will travel to Canada to face FC Edmonton. Of note, the Deltas have yet to lose on the road, making the likelihood of a result fairly high for the California team. The Deltas are also coming off of a win last week, defeating FC Edmonton at home. The win will surely bring confidence to the side, who, while not scoring many goals this season, has possessed a potent attack through forward Devon Sandoval. 

FC Edmonton has had a rough go this season, logging a respectable three wins but a league high eight losses this campaign. Adding to their woes, the Eddies have not scored a goal since their 4-2 win over the New York Cosmos on June 7 two weeks ago. The Eddies will be feeling some pressure to get a result, especially at home, and they will need help from the likes of Dustin Corea, Sainey Nyassi, and Tomy Ameobi to see three points stay at home on Saturday night.  

PUERTO RICO FC AT JACKSONVILLE ARMADA  (SUNDAY, 6:00PM, ESPN3)

Puerto Rico FC will travel to Hodges Stadium on Sunday to face the Jacksonville Armada  away from home. Puerto Rico has had a difficult time defending this season, scoring the third most goals in the league but conceding the most goals in the league. Sitting at the bottom of the table, the club has nothing really to lose in experimenting with their lineup and trying new tactics to secure their defense. Players like Giuseppe Gentile and Jairo Puerto have been good for the team this season, and can help guide the attack. The defense will need a reawakening on Sunday, however, if they hope to limit the attack of the Armada .

The Armada have seen a lot of success this season, and although they have slipped to fourth in the league standings, this match will be a chance to enter back into the top three. Zach Steinberger will be a player to watch, as his offensive abilities have proven themselves invaluable to the side this season. Aside from their 4-0 loss to Miami FC last weekend, the Armada have had a solid defense, and that will be the ultimate test of the match.

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