Top Stories

NASL Week 23: A Look Ahead



The Carolina Railhawks have been, without question, the most dominant team in the inaugural NASL season, but they had to wait until Wednesday to make it official.

The Railhawks wrapped up the regular-season title despite a 1-0 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The loss still puts Carolina eight points clear of Puerto Rico, and the Railhawks have a game in hand. Fort Lauderdale, meanwhile, needs only a draw this weekend against FC Edmonton to wrap up a playoff spot.

Edmonton and FC Tampa Bay booked places in the postseason following Montreal's 1-1 tie with Puerto Rico during the week. The Impact have a crucial matchup with the Railhawks coming up during the weekend in what is essentially a must-win for Montreal.

The NSC Minnesota Stars are plummeting down the NASL standings and have been dragged into a playoff fight. A loss to Tampa Bay left Minnesota only three points clear of seventh place, and the Stars will need to turn around a run of form that has seen them lose four in a row.

Here is a look ahead at the upcoming matchups in the NASL.

FC Tampa Bay at Puerto Rico Islanders (PPD)

The match that was scheduled for Saturday has been postponed until Sept. 21 due to imminent storms in Puerto Rico.

Atlanta Silverbacks at NSC Minnesota Stars (Saturday, 8:30 p.m.)

The Silverbacks have been a proverbial punching bag all season, but last week's shocking 2-0 win over the Puerto Rico Islanders showed that they are capable of beating just about anyone. The Stars' defense has abandoned them down the stretch and the offense has stagnated, but the hope is that new signing Luke Mulholland will provide an attacking spark as the Stars cling to the final playoff spot.

Carolina Railhawks at Montreal Impact (Sunday, 3:30 p.m.)

The Impact need a win badly while Carolina could get blown out for the rest of the season and still take the regular-season title. Whether the disparity in motivation will make up for the disparity in talent remains to be seen. Carolina has dominated the matchup between the two teams this season, winning the three games by a combined score of 6-2. Montreal has only lost once since Aug. 6 but might have to run the table to charge into the playoffs.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers at FC Edmonton (Sunday, 9:30 p.m.) 

Fort Lauderdale has a lot more to play for than does FC Edmonton when the two teams meet this Sunday. FC Edmonton has pulled out of its midseason nose dive to secure a place in the postseason, while Fort Lauderdale has done just enough to put some distance between it and Montreal but still needs another result to get over the hump.


What do you think of this weekend's games? Impressed with Carolina clinching the title? Can Montreal claw its way into the playoffs?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. GCScots:

    Haven’t seen Matty (though i like his name) play enough to have an opinion. However, I have seen Altanta’s attendance figures and have seen one or two of the matches on my computer and the crowds look good. You deserve a better team.

    Puerto Rico so scared of Rowdies current form that they’ve conjured up a tropical storm to postpone the game. Well done Islanders. Well done.

  2. I don’t think the Railhawks will let up vs. Montreal – a good crowd is likely, probably still some tension leftover from last year’s playoff’s, they’ll likely play a couple guys that have been itching for some PT, and they have a chance to deal Montreal’s PO chances a major setback. However, MI is desperate AND at home.

    Tampa probably got an unlucky break w/ their game getting ppd. … PRI had a lot of guys likely winded from their MNT World Cup qualification duties.

    Most interesting race is for 6th between Minn. & Montreal. (Montreal would hold the tie-breaker, so Minn. is, effectively, up by 2.5 points … both are 2-2 against each other, but MI scored 5 to Minn.’s 4).

  3. It was a shocking result for the Silverbacks last weekend, but even more shocking is that Matty Horth isn’t getting more love from the NASL pundits. What a fantastic story. A gem found in DIII soccer is now bagging goals in the NASL and is my candidate for rookie of the year. Atlanta has had a tough season, but this kid is promising for the future. From non-starter at the beginning of the season to front page of the website now, Horthy is the real deal.

  4. Well done Rowides on clinching a playoff spot in a dramatic win at Minnesota!

    Based on the performances this season, the Tampa Rowdies deserve the third place in the standing. Credit to Coach Hill for making a winning team that is quite pleasant to watch, actually. Ball on the ground, quick passing, utilizing fast players on the wings and speedy strikers as well. Solid defense and maginificent Attinella in goal as well.

  5. Too bad the Railhawks weren’t eligible for the US Open Cup…

    And has anyone noticed they keep losing losing folks to MLS / overseas and are still killing the league?

    They lost Gardner, Heinemann, and Paladini last year. They lost their captain/centerback this year (Rusin) and against Tampa they started a new defensive pair that’d never played together and held Tampa to 2 SOGs.

    Vancouver is getting very, very lucky w/ Martin Rennie.

  6. LETS GO RAILHAWKS! hopefully we give some of the bench guys a shot and rest out better players for the playofs. although i would like to see Etienne continue to score goals.


Leave a Comment