Coaches habitually stress that they and their team are only focusing on the next game to be played. But with just four weeks remaining in the 2013 NASL Fall Season, the coaches at the helm of teams in contention for a berth at NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 could be forgiven for looking further ahead in the race to be in Atlanta on November 9.
Brian Haynes and his Atlanta Silverbacks have already qualified to host the championship game having won the NASL Spring Season title and can still play a pivotal role in determining who they face in the Soccer Bowl.
If Atlanta were to close an eight-point gap on current leader the New York Cosmos and also win the Fall Season title that would lead to the team with the second-best overall record qualifying. For that reason alone, going into the eleventh week of action in the second half of the campaign, all eight NASL teams are still mathematically alive in the race.
But the New York Cosmos will have something to say about that.
No team can clinch the remaining Soccer Bowl berth this weekend, but by winning on Saturday night at home to the Carolina RailHawks, the Cosmos can put more distance between them and a key rival, which currently stands at seven points.
A Cosmos win will also prevent FC Edmonton from being able to win the Fall Season title. FC Edmonton will also be denied a shot at the fall silverware if they lose to the San Antonio Scorpions on Sunday, or if they draw and the Cosmos pick up a point against Carolina. But Colin Miller’s side could still stay alive as the second best team overall.
The Scorpions can no longer win the Fall Season title since they can not match the 21 points currently held by New York, but there remains a series of results that mathematically allows them qualify as the second-best team over both seasons, again if Atlanta should top the final table.
Either way, the race for NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 picture might look a little clearer on Sunday evening.
Tickets for NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 are now on general sale and can be purchased by calling 404-969-4900 or booking online at www.atlantasilverbacksfc.com. The NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 official website is now live at www.NASLSoccerBowl.com
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