Any one of Saturday’s three North American Soccer League games airing live on www.NASL.com could produce a new leader on top of the 2013 NASL Fall Season table, so close are the standings at the campaign’s midway point.
The games from Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio and Tampa Bay can be seen via a live stream at www.NASL.com and on iOS and Android devices by downloading the Ustream App.
Two games kick off in Florida at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 21. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers and New York Cosmos renew a rivalry that has not been contested in more than 30 years, while the Tampa Bay Rowdies defend the league’s only unbeaten Fall Season record at home to the Spring Season champions Atlanta Silverbacks.
The Cosmos look to hold on to top spot at Lockhart Stadium, while the Strikers are riding a five-game unbeaten streak and sit just a point behind their opponent in fourth place, with only goal difference keeping them out of second spot.
“Fort Lauderdale is a completely different team than the one we beat at home,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese, whose side stole a 2-1 win over the Strikers with an injury time goal on August 3. “They've seen every team in the league and are much better. We're going to have to play our best and treat this game like another final, like we've been doing every weekend.”
At Al Lang Stadium in St Petersburg, the second placed Rowdies and the Silverbacks, who are fifth but only two points behind the leaders, both have the top of the table in their sights. When the sides last met in Tampa Bay, the Rowdies surrendered a 3-1 lead as goals from Luke Mulholland (2) and Evans Frimpong were countered by Ruben Luna and Pedro Mendes, who each struck twice in a 4-3 win.
“Being on an unbeaten run is great but now we need to transform those draws into wins,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill, whose team has won only twice at Al Lang Stadium in nine games in 2013. “Our fans deserve another win at home and come Saturday we hope to get one for them.”
The Carolina RailHawks have spent more time on top of the NASL standings than any other team in 2013 and currently occupy third place, a point off the pace, as they head to San Antonio at 8.30pm ET on Saturday. The Scorpions are still searching for their first win and will look to recapture their Spring Season home form that saw four wins, a draw and only one defeat at Toyota Field.
The game will air live on MeTV-KSAT 12.2, on www.NASL.com/liveand on 102.3 FM San Antonio (Spanish language) and Radio Formula 1500 AM Boerne.
“It is a very important week ahead with a tight race in the fall standings,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke. “We know San Antonio is going to come out ready to play and we need to be prepared. With seven matches remaining each week becomes more important in determining the final spot in the Soccer Bowl.”
On Sunday at 4pm ET, FC Edmonton looks to turn a five game streak 1-1 draws into three points against a visiting Minnesota United FC opponent that sits beside them in the standings on eight points, four behind the Cosmos. A win for either side will fire them up into fall title contention.
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.
“It is a hard place to play and they certainly have been doing very well and have been competitive at home,” said United coach Manny Lagos. “With the season being so short, and at the midway point and with the standings so tight, it is a big game for both teams.”
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|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|