The split season format: It created a debate when it was announced that the winners of the NASL spring season would host the 2013 Soccer Bowl and the team that triumphs in the fall will join them to battle for the championship. Some fans loved the idea; others were less enthusiastic.
The format created a simple phrase: ‘Every Match Matters’. And with four teams a win away from securing top spot with only a handful of weeks to play and even the two teams trailing in sixth and seventh place still in the mix, every match truly does matter.
The PR machine can churn all it likes to get the point across, but nothing underlines the point like the words from the coaches of all six NASL teams when asked to describe their upcoming game in Week 10 of spring season action. Without prompting and without a whisper of spin in their ears, here’s what the six men leading their teams into this weekend – and potentially to the Soccer Bowl – had to say about their respective matches:
“We’re looking at every game as if it’s a playoff game,” said Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes. “Sure, we have gotten off to a good start this season, but there is still a lot of soccer to be played.”
“Every game from here on is big,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke. “We need to make sure we take care of business at home.”
“With the new league format, every match matters and as we reach the final stretch it is very important that we begin to pick up every point,” said Ricky Hill of the Rowdies.
“We’ve got it all to play for on Saturday and the lads are up for it,” said Edmonton coach Colin Miller. “Thanks to the parity in the league this year, we still have a shot at first.”
“It’s that time of the year where every game matters for us,” said Minnesota coach Manny Lagos. “We have been dealing with a lot of injuries and trying to navigate a lot of parity in the League to get results. We are looking forward to a great challenge and stepping out on the field with the energy and effort required to get the result.”
“Our mindset has to be that a tie is not good enough and that we have to get a full three points,” said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. “We have to make sure we continue to play balls forward, defend well and transition ourselves going forward because we need goals and we need a win.”
So from reading those quotes, it is clear that every team will be going for broke this weekend and pulling out all the stops to secure three points on Saturday night. You can watch the games unfold at www.NASL.com/Live
And it is all because ‘Every Match Matters’.
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