By RYAN TOLMICH
Just one week after reclaiming the league’s top spot, the San Antonio Scorpions will look to build their lead over Minnesota United FC in what has been a season-long wrestling match between the two clubs.
The Scorpions, who sit two points ahead of Minnesota United, will attempt to pick up some much-needed points when they take on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Friday evening. Meanwhile, Minnesota United, who enter the weekend on an 11-game unbeaten streak, head up to Canada for a match against FC Edmonton.
Other games from Week 8 include a clash between Ottawa Fury FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, a matchup between the Carolina RailHawks and Atlanta Silverbacks and a meeting between Indy Eleven and the New York Cosmos.
Here is what’s on tap for the NASL this week:
FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS vs. SAN ANTONIO SCORPIONS (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)
The San Antonio Scorpions enter the weekend atop the NASL Fall Standings, having picked up a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks last time out.
The league-leaders will now be tasked with taking on a team that has struggled against them in recent meetings, as the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are winless in the teams’ last three contests. The Strikers will be plenty motivated, however, sitting just one point out of the final qualifying position for The Championship.
OTTAWA FURY FC vs. TAMPA BAY ROWDIES (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.)
For the first time this fall, Ottawa Fury FC enter a game having experienced the thrill of victory.
The Canadian side picked up their first win of the Fall campaign last time out with a 2-1 victory over Indy Eleven. However, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have no room for feel good stories, as the team sits just one point out of a spot in The Championship. If the Rowdies are going to sneak into postseason play, dropping points in a clash with the league’s bottom team would be ill-advised.
CAROLINA RAILHAWKS vs. ATLANTA SILVERBACKS (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.)
With a slim lead in the race for Championship qualification, the Carolina RailHawks will have to continue to outpace those behind them.
That race, which was helped along by a victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies last time out, continues for the RailHawks Saturday in a matchup with the Atlanta Silverbacks. The Silverbacks, who sit five points out of The Championship, will need all three points to remain in contention, giving both sides plenty to play for as the season winds down.
INDY ELEVEN vs. NEW YORK COSMOS
Fresh off a morale-boosting draw with Minnesota United, the Cosmos will look to maintain their third spot in Combined Standings in a clash with an Indy Eleven team in need of a confidence boost.
Indy Eleven dropped a disappointing 2-1 contest to Ottawa Fury FC last time out, giving the Canadian side their first victory of the fall. A down-on-their-luck Indy Eleven side could prove to be the ideal opponent for the Cosmos, who remain in the race for The Championship despite tiptoeing through a lackluster fall season.
“The Silverbacks, who sit five points out of The Championship, will need all three points to remain in contention, giving both sides plenty to play for as the season winds down.”
We’ll need a string of wins if there’s gonna be any chance at all. Which means we ain’t makin’ the playoffs this year. I think Jason Smith is a good coach (he took us to the final in 07), and I hope the ownership group soon realizes that changing managers every five minutes does no good if you’re not willing to invest in players. Keep Smith, and build a better squad over the off-season.
Now let’s go out and kick some butt tonight just to make Carolina miserable!