By JOHN BOSCHINI
It ha's been a difficult opening couple of games for the MLS-bound Montreal Impact.
A loss to rival Carolina Railhawks gave Montreal an 0-2 start for the first time since 2002 while the Railhawks managed to rebound from an opening-week loss.
Puerto Rico is the early leader as the Islanders wrapped up their road trip with an easy win against FC Tampa Bay.
Atlanta continued its early struggles with a home loss to expansion side FC Edmonton, which is 2-0. In Florida, Ft. Lauderdale and the NSC Minnesota Stars battled to the first draw of the NASL season.
Here is a recap of the week two action in the NASL.
Carolina Railhawks 2, Montreal Impact 1
Saturday's game in Cary was almost called off as severe thunderstorms caused wide-spread damage in eastern North Carolina. An 11th-minute goal from Kevin Hatchi put Montreal ahead and Carolina had conceded first at home for the second consecutive game. However, the Impact's lead was short-lived as Etienne Barbara's header from a Floyd Frank's corner found the back of the net. Carolina had the lead before halftime when Pablo Cantos chipped Bill Gaudette.
Neither team threatened much after halftime as Carolina keeper Brad Knighton had only one save to make. With the win, the Railhawks extend their home-unbeaten streak against Montreal to six games.
FC Tampa Bay 0, Puerto Rico Islanders 2
The Puerto Rico Islanders struggled in the regular-season before catching on fire in the postseason in 2010.
That doesn't seem to be the problem as Puerto Rico finds itself at the top of the NASL table with two opening road wins. Jonathan Fana bagged a double with goals in the 35th and the 79th minutes. FC Tampa Bay recorded 23 shots but could only force Ray Burse into a couple of fine saves.
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 1, NSC Minnesota Stars 1
A sluggish start led to some late-game drama as Ft. Lauderdale avoided opening its season with two-straight losses. Devin Del Do opened the scoring just after the hour mark after Andrei Gotsmanov found him at the back post with a free kick from 35 yards out.
Minnesota held on for the next 30 minutes and were seconds away from six points from two road games before a fateful error from Brian Kallman gifted Ft. Lauderdale a penalty in the firs minute of extra time. Eduardo Coudet put his spot kick straight down the middle and the Strikers have their first point of the season.
Atlanta Silverbacks 0, FC Edmonton 1
FC Edmonton continued its surprising run of form at the expense of Atlanta Silverbacks as two teams new to minor-league soccer squared off. The lone goal was scored just 11 minutes in when Alex Surprenant beat Jimmy Maurer.
Atlanta escaped into halftime only down a goal and came back into the game after the restart with the Silverbacks best chance coming when Mario Perez's free kick was denied by the crossbar. Their comeback was ended six minutes before time when John Cox was sent off.
WEEK 3 SCHEDULE
Edmonton FC at Carolina Railhawks, 7:00
FC Tampa Bay at Montreal Impact, 2:30
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers at Atlanta Silverbacks, 7:30
What did you think of this weekend's games? Surprised by Edmonton's start? Are the Puerto Rico Islanders the early favorites? Concerned about the Montrel Impact in trouble?
Share your thoughts below.