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NASL Week 25: A Look Back



Minnesota nearly bungled their way out the playoffs with a near-epic collapse towards the end of the season but the Stars came up with a win when it counted, beating the Carolina Railhawks, 2-1, to book a place in the postseason.

Things aren't so bright for Carolina. The Railhawks backed their way into the playoffs with a four-game losing streak, scoring only one goal during that timeframe. Carolina still holds the number one seed heading into the playoffs but need to regain the confidence that made the Railhawks so dominate in the regular season.

The Montreal Impact charged late in the season but their atrocious opening half was ulimately their undoing. A 4-0 victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks was not enough to secure a playoff spot and Montreal ends its first and only season in the NASL outside of the playoff picture.

FC Tampa Bay secured the third playoff spot and will face Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs. Tampa downed Fort Lauderdale 2-0 on Saturday night to relegate the Strikers to the fourth seed, where they will face FC Edmonton.

Here is a look back at the results in the NASL:

NSC Minnesota Stars 2, Carolina Railhawks 1

Three goals in seven minutes just after halftime punctuated an otherwise scoreless affair as a desperate Minnesota did enough to squeak by a Carolina side that was dominating during the regular season.

After a goal-less opening period, Jeff Cosgriff drew a penalty from Carolina captain Kupono Low just after the restart and Minnesota captain Kyle Altman sent Brad Knighton the wrong way to put Minnesota ahead in the 47th minute. The lead only lasted a few minutes when Pablo Campos accepted a through-ball from Johnny Steele and slotted the ball past Joe Warren.

Lucas Rodriguez then put the Stars ahead for good after taking advantage of a poor back pass in the 52nd minute. The Argentinian beat a defender and shot the ball past Knighton for his third goal in five games. Surprisingly enough, Minnesota heads into the playoffs on a three-game unbeaten run.

Montreal Impact 4, Atlanta Silverbacks 0

Montreal may have missed out on the playoffs but the MLS-bound Impact can take solace in a stylish farewell to the NASL.

On-loan Portland Timbers striker Ryan Pore gave the Impact the lead just five minutes into the game with a well-taken strike. Sinisa Ubiparipovic doubled Montreal's advantage just 12 minutes later with a close-range effort. Pore scored his second of the evening before halftime to put the game beyond Atlanta. The striker completed his hat trick in the second half to punctuate an impressive performance from the Impact.

FC Tampa Bay 2, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0

Offense came late for FC Tampa Bay but goals from Keith Savage and Matt Claire was enough for victory over 10-man Fort Lauderdale.

Neither team could break the deadlock in the first half and Fort Lauderdale's offense took a blow when Cristian Arrieta was sent off six minutes in the second half. Tampa took the lead in the 68th minute when Keith Savage turned and fired the ball past Matt Glaeser. Matt Clare provided Tampa with some insurance with a goal in injury time.


What did you think of the weekend's results? Impressed with Minnesota's victory? Disapointed Montreal fell just short? Is Carolina in trouble or can the Railhawks regain form once the playoffs start?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I didn’t realize that Carolina was “arrogant.” Is celebrating with your regular season championship trophy in front of your home fans all that is required to qualify as “arrogant?”

    If TB makes it to the finals and you like golf, I’d suggest Pinehurst … it’s only about and hour and 20min. away from the stadium … AND THERE, you might actually get to see one of your shots go in.

  2. That’s right, it is now safe to break out your old Impact / relegation to MLS quip. Thanks – with the Impact’s hot streak, I had missed it.

  3. As a Rowdies fan, I am not too happy to play Minnesota in the playoffs. I’d rather play any of the Canadian teams, Montreal or Edmonton…too bad the Impact were so awful, they are getting relegated to the USL next season…

  4. it would be nice to see Carolina care about a game again. It’s been about 6 weeks or so…

    I hope Barbara and Rennie aren’t already looking to the Northwest and not rooted in finishing out this season.

  5. This is just wishful thinking, but I’d love to see a MLS/NASL pro/rel system. It would require both leagues to move to a one table system. The last place MLS team would be relegated NASL, with first place NASL to MLS. The added tension of fighting back into MLS would likely mitigate any loss in interest by fans of the relegated team. I’m Turd Ferguson, and I approved this message.

  6. Come on down Mini-sota! Nice job putting it on the arrogant Rail Hawks.

    Candidly, despite having almost its entire squad healthy, i don’t think they’ve played that well the last two home matches. Offense seems to have sputtered. Luckily the goalkeeping is excellent. Hopefully, we were laying low and trying to conserve for the playoffs.

    Christy needs to have an impact and Millien nees to scorch and get to goal. King, i think can be marked out of the game. The two that Minnesota needs to fear are the Hobbit aka Ambersly and Millien.

    Please, dear God, let us beat Tampa and get another chance to heckle the hell out of the frosted hair on the Carolina players. They’re nothing without their mascot, The Frosted Goon, Brad Rusin.

  8. FC Tampa Bay v. Stinkers. Pretty fun match to watch. The rainstorm before the game created some interesting moments in the northern PK box. It was hard to see the puddles but they were there.

    Player of the match, in my opinion, for the second game running was Savage. Scored a goal and seems to be the most consistant player right now. I didn’t feel we played particularly well…but a 2-0 win over the Stinkers is always fun. Kudos to the 10 or so loud Stinker fans who made the drive from Ft. Lauderdale.

    Oh and very classy move by the ejected Ft. Lauderdale defender (Arrieta) flipping off the crowd as he made his way to the dugout whining and moaning the whole way. Stay classy. Stay classy.


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