By MIKE GRAMAJO
The New York Cosmos take the road for the second week in a row this Saturday when they visit the Carolina RailHawks on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park.
It will also be the second week in a row that the Cosmos face a formidable offense, and after holding a clean sheet against a team that scored seven goals in week one, the Cosmos backline will be tested again by the likes of RailHawks forward Brian Shriver.
Minnesota United, who took a pivotal road victory last week, host the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday at the National Sports Center Stadium.
Week three of the fall championship will end when FC Edmonton, who took a 1-0 home victory over the San Antonio Scorpions thanks to newcomer Corey Hertzog, welcome the Atlanta Silverbacks on Sunday.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s NASL matchups:
CAROLINA RAILHAWKS vs. NEW YORK COSMOS (Saturday, 7 p.m. Watch Here)
Giovanni Savarese’s side may have picked up a scoreless draw last week against a Tampa Bay team that’s been struggling at home, but Saturday’s match at WakeMed Soccer Park might be his toughest challenge yet.
Despite missing a chance to keep making his way closer to a golden boot, forward Brian Shriver will look to guide the Carolina RailHawks to victory. The New York Cosmos meanwhile will hope to finish off their numerous chances, especially after failing to capitalize on many in the first two weeks.
Roversio has finally received his P-1 Visa and is available for Cosmos selection, making his debut a possibility on Saturday.
MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. TAMPA BAY ROWDIES (Saturday, 8 p.m. Watch Here)
Road victories are key to winning championships; one slip up on the road can end a team’s dream of seeing glory.
Minnesota United picked up an important road victory last week, downing the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and look to beat up on another Florida club when the Tampa Bay Rowdies pay a visit to Minneapolis on Saturday.
The Rowdies will be without midfielder Luke Mulholland who is suspended after picking up a second yellow card in the final minutes of last week’s match against the Cosmos. Forward Max Griffin and midfielder Pablo Campos look to build from their strong performances last week as both of them scored in a 3-1 victory.
While United sit in fifth place with three points, a victory at the National Sports Center would have United leap-frog the Rowdies, who are in a four-team tie atop the NASL standings with four points from two games.
SAN ANTONIO SCORPIONS vs. FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. Watch Here)
Two weeks into the season both the San Antonio Scorpions and Fort Lauderdale Strikers have yet to taste victory, but that can all change on Saturday when both meet at Toyota Field.
The Scorpions enter the match after suffering a 1-0 defeat to the hands of FC Edmonton last Saturday, while the Strikers lost, 3-1, to Minnesota United at Lockhart Stadium, an embarrassing home loss.
Strikers on-loan players Kenney Walker (LA Galaxy) and forward Bradlee Baladez (FC Dallas) will look to pay dividends for Gunter Kronsteiner’s side, especially after making several roster changes during the month off after the spring championship.
FC EDMONTON vs. ATLANTA SILVERBACKS (Sunday, 4 p.m. Watch Here)
FC Edmonton struggled to win games in the spring season, but Corey Hertzog’s 15th minute strike was enough to give the Eddies their first win of the season in Week Two.
However, the Canadian club now face arguably the toughest test of the season when they take on the spring season champions at home.
The Atlanta Silverbacks are no stranger to road threats. Brian Haynes’ side have not tasted a defeat on the road since May 12. Who was the culprit? If you guessed FC Edmonton, then you were correct.
What do you think of the Week 3 matchups? Do you see the Cosmos picking up a victory at WakeMed? Can the Rowdies stop United from building momentum? Do you believe the Strikers can finally nab a victory, especially away? Will Corey Hertzog lead the Eddies to victory on Sunday?
Share your thoughts below.
Forecasted for rain throughout the railhawks game. Should be a fun one to watch.