Where else can you find seven teams all battling for the top of the table on any given weekend? That is the scenario soccer fans across the United States can watch unfold as the seventh week of North American Soccer League action kicks off on Saturday.
“This is the most competitive league in North America - possibly in professional soccer,” said FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller, whose side is in seventh place, but is only three points off three leaders who are tied on ten points.
“I don't know of any other league that has three points separating first and seventh place. Our goal is to get three points against the Strikers and remain in the hunt for the 2013 Soccer Bowl.”
Miller’s FC Edmonton faces the resurgent Fort Lauderdale Strikers, but not until 4pm ET on Sunday when six other rivals for pole position might have strengthened their chance of winning the NASL Fall Season title and with it a place at NASL Soccer Bowl 2013.
First at 7pm at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC, the second-placed Carolina RailHawks face the league leading Tampa Bay Rowdies, who beat them last week in Florida courtesy of a dramatic last minute own goal. The Rowdies are unbeaten this fall and the RailHawks have not lost at home in 2013, so the clash should serve up a classic live at www.NASL.com/Live and on radio on 99.9 HD-3 The Ticket.
“We escaped last match with the three points, and we expect them to come out in Cary looking for revenge,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill.
Also at 7pm, theNew York Cosmos play a second straight home game at Hofstra Stadium against Minnesota United FC. The game will be streamed live at www.ONEWorldSports.com/watch where a prior registration is required before accessing the live stream, and on mobile devices at www.ONEWorldSports.com/watch. The game is not available through Ustream.
The Cosmos-United FC clash will also be shown on ONE World Sports (OWS), the television broadcast and national network partner of the Cosmos on SNY on delay at 8pm on Sunday.
“The table is really tight,” said Minnesota coach Manny Lagos. “It's been a frantic start to this season for a lot of teams. We know this is going to be a big one.”
At 7.30pm on Saturday, the Atlanta Silverbacks host a San Antonio Scorpions team that recorded its first point of the season last week and is eager to catch up with the seven clubs locked in the title race.
“We had a great result in Fort Lauderdale,” said Scorpions coach Alen Marcina. “The team came together and played what was maybe our best defensive game all year.”
And so to Sunday when the Fort Lauderdale Strikers will attempt to add to their four-match unbeaten streak when they travel to on FC Edmonton, whose specialty is preventing teams from scoring at Clarke Stadium. The game also sees Strikers keeper Richard Sanchez looking to add to his shutout streak of 315 minutes, targeting the NASL record of 359 minutes held by Jeff Attinella while playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
“Every game now is important, everyone is pretty close to the top of the table,” said Strikers head coach Günter Kronsteiner. “We had a chance to be in first place after the last game, but we could only come out with a point against San Antonio. Now Edmonton is going to be very tough at home.”
The game will be webcast on NASL.com/live outside of Canada onlyand airs nationally in Canada on Rogers Sportnet 360 and Radio Team 1260 AM.
The games from Carolina, Atlanta and Edmonton can be seen via a live stream at www.NASL.com and on iOS and Android devices by downloading the Ustream App, although the game in Edmonton is not available in Canada other than on Sportsnet.
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|Silverbacks 2013 Season: By The Numbers|
|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|