Leading the way in the North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season standings, the San Antonio Scorpions aim to continue their fine form in the #Fight4Fall when they travel to Canada to face Ottawa Fury FC at TD Place on Sunday, August 17, at 3 pm ET. Soccer fans can tune in to www.NASLlive.com to watch all five of this weekend’s matches, which will take place in Carolina, Fort Lauderdale, Minnesota, Ottawa and Tampa Bay.
The Scorpions, who are just a point away from the top spot in the NASL Combined Standings (Spring/Fall), will look to edge closer to clinching an automatic berth in The Championship. Coach Alen Marcina’s team is coming off a 2-0 win over visiting Indy Eleven last week, while the Fury, who are winless in their last six games, dropped a 2-1 decision at home to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
This is the second-ever meeting between the two clubs in Canada, with the last matchup resulting in a 3-2 Scorpions win at Carleton University’s Keith Harris Stadium on May 24.
“San Antonio is playing well at the moment, and we will have to be ready if we want to get a positive result. Our fans have shown fantastic support and are part of our strengths when we are playing at home,” said Fury coach Marc Dos Santos. “We are working hard and doing everything it takes to bounce back. We will be ready for this challenge.”
NASL Fall Week 6 action kicks off with a rivalry that began almost four decades ago – rebooted last year – and continues on Saturday, August 16, when the Tampa Bay Rowdies host the New York Cosmos at Al Lang Stadium in the NASL ‘Match of the Week’ live on ESPN3 at 7:30 pm ET.
In the NASL’s modern era, the Cosmos and Rowdies have met three times, with the New York side holding an unbeaten head-to-head record. The last meeting between the two teams was during the Spring Season, and it was the Cosmos that came away with a 3-0 win at Al Lang Stadium on May 17.
"I expect an exciting match and I hope we can give our great fans a victory that they long for and that they deserve,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill. “We haven't beaten the Cosmos yet since they've been back. They had a great victory Saturday night in Atlanta and we had a great victory Saturday night in Carolina, so both teams are coming in with a positive frame of mind."
The Cosmos currently sit in third place in the NASL Combined Table, and they enter Saturday’s game against the Rowdies on the heels of a 2-1 road victory against the Atlanta Silverbacks last week. Meanwhile, the sixth-place Rowdies are fresh off snapping a two-game skid, earning a key 4-3 victory over the Carolina RailHawks in Cary, N.C.
“This is a very important game for us as we continue our push to climb up the table and try to build off last weekend’s victory,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese. “Tampa Bay is a very strong team that has always given us a tough challenge and we are taking this game very seriously.”
Also taking place in the Sunshine State at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday is a matchup between the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Atlanta Silverbacks at Lockhart Stadium. Following a successful two-game road trip last week (scoreless draw against Indy Eleven and 2-1 win over Ottawa Fury), the Strikers have moved into fourth place in the NASL Combined Table.
“This is a very important game for us,” said Strikers coach Günter Kronsteiner. “We need to get the three points at home against Atlanta so we can solidify our spot in The Championship. They are only two points behind us and they’ve played one less game than us.”
The Silverbacks, who are currently seventh in the Combined Table, have lost their last three encounters against the Strikers, including the previous meeting this past spring when Kronsteiner’s side won 4-0 at Lockhart Stadium on May 10.
Saturday’s slate of games continues with two teams looking to get back to their winning ways, as FC Edmonton visits the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park at 7:30 pm ET. Fifth-place Carolina, who is just a point out away from the final berth in ‘The Championship,’ is looking to bounce back from that loss to the Rowdies last week. Now occupying eighth place, FC Edmonton dropped a 3-2 decision on the road against NASL Spring Champion Minnesota United FC.
The Eddies won the last meeting against the RailHawks, 6-1, on June 8, at Clarke Stadium, however, Carolina has won all six previous affairs against Edmonton at WakeMed Soccer Park.
“We are looking forward to going down to Carolina,” said FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller. “It will be a huge game for both teams seeing that we have both come off of a loss last weekend. Carolina, at home in particular, is always a handful. The guys are looking forward to this match and we’ll prepare really well this week for the weekend.”
Rounding out Week 6 on Saturday evening will be Minnesota United FC, who already secured its berth into ‘The Championship’ by winning the Spring Season Championship. Coach Manny Lagos’ side will aim to extend its current nine-game unbeaten streak when they host Indy Eleven at NSC Stadium at 7 pm CT (8 pm ET).
United, who is also the only remaining unbeaten team in the NASL Fall Season, has not lost in its last eight home games after posting a 3-2 victory over visiting FC Edmonton last week.
“It's a challenging match for us because we are facing a team that has a very talented roster,” said United coach Manny Lagos. “They haven't gotten the results so far and they are searching for that balance of having a talented roster and getting results on the field. For us, it's the last home game in a three match home stand and we want to do really well.”
This is the second-ever meeting between the two clubs, with the inaugural matchup taking place during the Spring Campaign at NSC Stadium on May 3. United were one goal better in that game, taking all three points in a 3-2 win.
Indy Eleven coach Juergen Sommer, whose team has won two of its last three road games, commented on his side’s upcoming game against Minnesota: “Another week and another tough test on the road in Minnesota, but we've got a group that is battle tested away from home this Fall and will be ready to go on Saturday night. Minnesota put on a clinic in counter-attacking against us in the Spring. We'll be prepared to keep our shape defensively and throw numbers forward in a smart fashion whenever we can this weekend against a very quality opponent.”
Soccer fans around the world will also be able to ‘Watch Every Match Live’ – all 90 NASL matches -- throughout the 2014 North American Soccer League season, including all the Week 6 matches on www.NASLLive.com.
NASL Fall Season Week 5 Schedule (All kickoff times US EST)
Saturday, August 16
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. New York Cosmos
Al Lang Stadium; St. Petersburg, Fla. 7:30 pm
Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 7:30 pm
Carolina RailHawks vs. FC Edmonton
WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C. 7:30 pm
Minnesota United FC vs. Indy Eleven
NSC Stadium; Blaine, Minn. 8 pm
Sunday, August 17
Ottawa Fury FC vs. San Antonio Scorpions
TD Place; Ottawa, Ontario 3pm