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NASL Week 16: A Look Back

Photo by the Tampa Bay Rowdies

Photo by Tamapa Bay Rowdies/NASL


In a weekend that saw two top NASL sides clinch their playoff births, the forgotten man of American soccer signaled his return with a jaw-dropping bit of play.

Results for Minnesota United and the Ottawa Fury saw the two sides join the New York Cosmos as teams that have already locked up a spot in the playoffs.

United continued an outstanding run with a win at home over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, with the team from southern Florida lamenting the lost opportunity to stay fourth in the combined standings.

The Ottawa Fury drew on the road to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, as the Canadian side locked up their own post-season birth. While it has looked certain for some time that the Fury would be involved in the playoffs, the tenacity that the Rowdies showed to earn a result is the bigger story of that match.

Elsewhere, the Cosmos earned their second win in a week to rise to the top of the combined standings. United and the Fury each have a game in hand on Gio Savarese’s men, though.

Here’s a closer look at the results from around the league this weekend:


In a d-or-die match, the Carolina RailHawks shut out the Jacksonville Armada with a 3-0 home win.

Tiyi Shipalane got things started for the home team in the 35th minute. RailHawks central midfielder Nazmi Albadawi sent a ground ball across the top of the box for an unmarked Shipalane to control and fire to the low corner of the far post for the 1-0 lead.

Albadawi caught fire and scored to double the RailHawks’ lead in the 42nd minute. Shipalane played a ball from the midfield to Daniel Jackson on the right flank, and Jackson put a low ball across the face of goal for Albadawi to tap in.

The final goal would come in the 90th minute, when Albadawi put away his second and his team’s third. The RailHawks center midfielder outran his defender on the left flank before curling the ball to the far post.


The San Antonio Scorpions scored early and late to win, 2-1, on the road Saturday night, spoiling the party for Indy Eleven at home. Kris Tyrprak scored his second in two games for the Scorpions.

Giueseppe Gentile scored his first goal of the season with a 19th-minute strike. The goal came from a quick counterattack, as the Scorpions only put seven touches on the ball before it hit the back of the net. After a defensive clearance, Omar Cummings laid the ball off to Martin Chavez in the midfield, where it found Gentile on a run that ended with a low strike past the goalkeeper for the early lead.

Indy Eleven fans were treated to an equalizer in the 69th minute from Dylan Mares. A midfield run from Duke Lacroix put the ball into the box for Marvin Ceballos to finish off. Ceballos had his shot stifled by several Scorpion defenders, but the ball bounced out for Mares to put into the empty net to even the scores.

The Scorpions weren’t done yet, though, and Kris Tyrprak came through with the go-ahead strike in the 79th minute. An absolutely brilliant deep ball set up Chavez, who cut inside on thr right wing and delivered a ball to the top of the box for Tyrprak to cleanly slot home.


The Ottawa Fury dropped to third in the combined standings with a 1-1 draw on the road to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, while the Canadian side clinched a playoff birth with the result.

After a late strike in the first-half by the Fury’s Tom Heinemann, a phenomenal Freddy Adu assist at the death gave the Rowdies a goal and a point.

In the 42nd minute, Heinemann held off a defender in the box to retrieve a high ball before turning and scoring the first goal of the match. Heinemann skillfully took the ball off of a bounce with his chest and then rocketed a half-volley past the Rowdies goalkeeper.

Just minutes away from the Fury wrapping up another big win, Adu delivered a moment of brilliance. In the 88th minute, he beat a man on either side of him with skill and scooped a ball into the danger area for Brian Shriver to fire home with a diving toe-poke.

The result keeps the Rowdies in the middle of the tight race for the fourth and final playoff spot.


Minnesota United continued its upward ascension with a 2-1 home victory over the attacking juggernaut that is the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

A goal from Pablo Campos in just the sixth minute put the home team in the lead early. Right back Kevin Venegas delivered a solid ball across the field from deep, setting up Justin Davis for a shot on goal. The Strikers goalkeeper parried the ball right into the path of Campos, who buried the ball and put United up 1-0.

Only 21 minutes passed before the hottest team in the league doubled their lead. In the 27th minute, Campos turned from scorer to provider as he set up Daniel Mendes. Campos ran onto a ball flicked down the right flank, taking it to the end line and passing it back for Mendes to score from six yards out.

Brazilian central midfielder PC still managed to keep up his scoring form, though, halving the lead with a goal in the 78th minute. Stefano Pinho received the ball on the left flank and whipped in a driven ball for PC to fire into the top of the net.

Three points for United assured that they would earn a spot in the postseason, while the Strikers sit in fifth place with a game in hand.


The New York Cosmos are seemingly back to normal after winning 3-0 at home over FC Edmonton.

After only earning a single point out of three games coming into this week, the Cosmos put together back-to-back wins against the Atlanta Silverbacks and the Eddies.

The first goal came in the 37th minute, when new signing Gaston Cellerino picked up a ball from Raul and picked a no-look pass to Sebastian Guenzatti to fire home with a left-footed shot.

Spanish legend Raul put the home side up 2-0 in the 45th minute. Raul found himself completely unmarked off of a corner kick from Ayoze Garcia Perez, and the former Real Madrid attacker blasted a volley into the net.

The final goal wouldn’t come until the 85th minute, but the finish was well worth the wait. Ruben Bover picked up a bad clearance from the Eddies, drove past a man inside and hit a lofted ball that rattled the far post and fell into the net.


  1. I admit it, I went looking for the highlight. And it was…pretty damn great. Only a few guys in American soccer can do stuff like that, and it’s just too bad that it’s not even remotely consistent. I imagine that I will root for Freddy Adu until he or I is buried in the grave. He rarely shows up anymore, but when he does it’s just so much more tantalizing than anyone else who could play for this country.

  2. He’s a mind trip for you.

    What if Adu stops the clubbin and bong hits and rounds back into form. Meanwhile Bob Bradley gets the Sunderland job in January and signs Adu for a song. Adu lights up the EPL with assists galore and most unlikely of all actually turns Sunderland into an attack minded possession oriented team.

    Wait a minute I think I forgot to take my meds this morning.

    What If?


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