The first-place New York Cosmos are aiming to capture the 2013 NASL Fall Season title and qualify for the Soccer Bowl, for the first time since 1982, when they face the visiting FC Edmonton during Week 12 action on Sunday at Hofstra University at 4pm ET.
Regardless of other results around the league, a win by the Cosmos over the Eddies would secure the right to meet the Spring Season champion the Atlanta Silverbacks at the NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 on Saturday, November 9, in Atlanta, Ga.
“Edmonton definitely wants to come at us one hundred percent and take three points off us, especially coming off a loss,” said Cosmos coach, Giovanni Savarese, who’s side has won their last five encounters. “We need to be prepared and the players will be. This is our last day at home. It is going to be a special day for us and for our fans.”
The Cosmos, who are atop the standings with 24 points and riding an eight-game unbeaten streak, are facing an Edmonton club that is already out of contention for this year’s season crown, however the Eddies are one of only two teams, the other being Atlanta, that have yet to lose to the New York team. When the sides last met a 1-1 draw was the outcome at Clarke Stadium on September 1.
“The Cosmos are the top team in the league right now so we'll have to be at our best if we expect to get a result,” said FC Edmonton coach, Colin Miller. “We are going there to hopefully spoil their party.”
The Cosmos-Eddies encounter airs on SNY TV on tape delayed at 8pm ET, but is available live on www.OneWorldSports.com/watch. Prior registration is required before accessing the live One World Sports stream. The game is not available through Ustream.
The NASL Week 12 action commences on Saturday afternoon with fourth-placed Minnesota United FC hosting the fifth-placed Carolina RailHawks at NSC Stadium at 3:30pm ET live at www.NASL.com and locally via FOX Sports North.
Both the RailHawks and United can still mathematically qualify for NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 if the team finishes as second-best overall from the spring and fall seasons combined, provided they win their remaining matches, the Cosmos falter and the Atlanta Silverbacks capture the Fall title.
“These next two home games are massive for us to show our fans that we are moving in the right direction,” said United coach, Manny Lagos, whose club plays two of its last three games of the season at home. “There has been a lot of great positive energy and unfortunately we haven't quite gotten all of that onto the field for the results but this weekend is a step to continue to try and get better and move forward.”
Also on Saturday, the third-placed Silverbacks travel to face the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium at 7.30pm ET at www.NASL.com. The Strikers, who are current sixth at the NASL table, are looking to rebound from their 2-1 loss against the Rowdies that put them out of contention for the Soccer Bowl, by sweeping this season’s home and away series against the Silverbacks after winning the first meeting in Atlanta, 1-0 in August.
“We played a really good game (against Tampa Bay), we shouldn’t have lost there,” said Strikers coach, Strikers coach Günter Kronsteiner. “I thought we were the better team the last game, we had more ball possession, but we didn’t score. We should be able to win this next game, even though I think this team (Atlanta) is definitely one of the best in the league. We are at the same level as anyone else in the league.”
With the winner remaining in contention for a berth to the NASL Soccer Bowl 2013, the Tampa Bay Rowdies host the San Antonio Scorpions at Al Lang Stadium at 7.30pm ET at www.NASL.com to round out Saturday’s encounters.
The second-placed Rowdies trail the Cosmos by seven points but a win against the Scorpions can keep their hopes of defending the NASL title they won last year alive. However, the Scorpions, who have a slim mathematical hope of reaching the NASL Soccer Bowl, have won have won two out of three meetings against the Rowdies in Tampa Bay.
“We are looking forward to hosting San Antonio at Al Lang Stadium,” said Rowdies coach, Ricky Hill. “They were able to get the win in their last visit but we plan to reverse that on Saturday night. Hopefully a win will enable us to stay in the race for the Fall Season title and we hope to show that we will not give up until the end of the season.”
This weekend’s games from Fort Lauderdale, Minnesota 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.
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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|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|