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NASL Week 10: A Look Ahead

RailHawksMinnesotaUnited2 (CarolinaRailHawks)

 

By COLE KELLOGG

The New York Cosmos will take the weekend off, but the battle for second place behind them in NASL will rage on. Minnesota United will travel to the Carolina RailHawks Saturday, with the winner taking a firm grasp on second.

Elsewhere around the league, Florida faces off against Canada in Tampa Bay against Edmonton and Jacksonville versus Ottawa.

Fort Lauderdale will host bottom-feeders Indy Eleven, who have a new coach in former MLS defender Tim Regan.

Here is a closer look at this week’s action:

Atlanta Silverbacks vs. San Antonio Scorpions (Saturday, 7:30pm, WatchESPN)

Last weekend, the San Antonio Scorpions played to a 1-1 draw at home against Fort Lauderdale. The goal for the Scorpions came from Joseph Nane early in the first half, with the assist coming from star player Omar Cummings.

That result puts the Scorpions at 2-5-2 in NASL this season. San Antonio will be looking to end out the Spring Season on a high note by showing well in its last few matches.

Atlanta had last weekend off, but didn’t perform too well its last time out in NASL. The Silverbacks lost to FC Edmonton 4-2 in Canada, with late goals coming from Jaime Chavez and Christopher Christian. That result mean that Atlanta is winless in five straight NASL matches.

Carolina RailHawks vs. Minnesota United FC (Saturday, 7:30pm, WatchESPN)

After Minnesota United performed admirably to earn a 1-1 draw against New York last time out, it will again be tested against the likes of second place Carolina this week.

United is undefeated in six NASL matches, and will be looking to take second place with a game in hand against the RailHawks. Minnesota can hope to find inspiration from top scorer Pablo Campos, whose four goals have propelled the team as of late.

Carolina has been in formidable form in the league recently, leading to its unexpectedly high position so late in the season. The RailHawks pulled up with a huge 4-0 win over Jacksonville last weekend, and drew with the Cosmos before pulling out a 1-0 victory at Fort Lauderdale two weeks ago.

Six different goalscorers have gotten on the board for the RailHawks in its last three matches, including Tiyi Shipalane with two goals.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Indy Eleven (Saturday, 7:30pm, WatchESPN)

Fort Lauderdale is winless in its last five matches, including a 3-2 loss to USL side Charleston Battery in the U.S. Open Cup. The Strikers have only amassed three goals in that time, while allowing six.

The Strikers sit in eighth place with eight points, three spots above Indy.

The Eleven have had an extremely disappointing season, which has led to the sacking of its coach and Indiana soccer star Juergen Sommer this week.¬†Indy General Manager Peter Wilt finally pulled the trigger midweek, replacing Sommer with assistant coach Tim Regan. Regan will be assisted by former Brazilian star Kleberson, a player on Indy’s roster that has been out injured all season.

Indy has had little bright spots this season, but the side did manage a 2-2 draw against Tampa Bay at home last weekend. The goals came from Dylan Mares and Kyle Hyland.

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Edmonton (Saturday, 7:30pm, WatchESPN)

Tampa Bay got a  2-2 on the road against last place Indy last week. Rich Balchan and former MLS striker Maicon Santos got on the board for the Rowdies.

The fourth place side have only lost one of their last six matches, with it coming in the U.S. Open Cup against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The Rowdies have drawn five of its NASL matches this Spring though, and have only amassed eight points.

FC Edmonton managed a 0-0 draw against its Canadian counterpart Ottowa last weekend. Before that, the team beat Atlanta in a 4-2 rout at home. Four different goalscorers got on the board in that match, including top performers Ritchie Jones and Lance Laing.

Edmonton sit sixth in the league table, having earned nine points from eight games in the Spring Season.

Jacksonville Armada vs. Ottawa Fury FC (Sunday, 4:00pm, WatchESPN)

After a strong start to the season, Jacksonville has fallen off with three straight losses. One of those losses came against USL side the Richmond Kickers in the U.S. Open Cup.

The Armada have given up 11 goals in its last four matches, while only scoring three themselves.

Ottawa sits in seventh place in NASL, two places and one point behind the Armada.

The Fury have bragged an outstanding defensive record in its past three games, letting in zero goals. The team has only scored one itself, though, coming from a late Nicki Paterson strike in a 1-0 win against Indy.

 

Which matches will you be looking to tune in to this week?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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