Minnesota United FC sits squarely atop the table and remains the only team with a one hundred percent record in the North American Soccer League Spring Season. United FC has three victories in three games while expansion club Ottawa Fury FC powered to their first NASL victory. The New York Cosmos saw their 14 game unbeaten streak snapped by San Antonio and sit in second place with six points along Ft. Lauderdale and the Scorpions.
A Simone Bracelello penalty after 70 minutes proved the difference between Minnesota United FC and FC Edmonton in the Loons’ home opener at the National Sports Center.
“I don’t think we created as many chances as we’d like but the guys put in a great shift, we kept a clean sheet at home and we got the win,” said Minnesota coach Manny Lagos of this table-topping team.
FC Edmonton currently prop up the standings after three games, but coach Colin Miller said of the loss: “I thought the lads were terrific tonight. I don’t think we deserved to get beat. We missed a couple of very good chances and they didn’t seem to have as many as us. Young Marko was fantastic and he’ll be devastated that we didn’t walk away with three points.”
A hat-trick from Brazilian forward Oliver Minatel paced the host Ottawa Fury FC to a 4-0 victory over Carolina RailHawks at Carleton University. The crowd of 2,158 witnessed the first-ever victory by the newest Canadian expansion club in the NASL and also signaled the end of the RailHawks’ five-game unbeaten streak.
Ottawa Fury FC manager Marc Dos Santos said: “Carolina is a team that we respect a lot, but today we came in very focused. We knew exactly what we wanted from the game, and I thought that we responded very well. Our possession was excellent.”
Carolina RailHawk coach Colin Clarke said: “Well, being one-nil down at halftime hurt. We weren't good in the first half. They came out; they were ready. We weren't good enough.”
Eric Hassli’s strike as the ball rebounded off the crossbar in the 15-minute earned the visiting San Antonio Scorpions a 1-0 victory over the New York Cosmos at Hofstra University. The spirited game saw plenty of near misses, ended the Cosmos’ 14-game unbeaten streak and pushed San Antonio to just three points out of first place.
Scorpions manager Alen Marcina was pleased, "The guys executed the plan with discipline and precision to earn a well deserved win on the road against a tough opponent. We'll look to continue improving and growing as a team, and it'll be fantastic to play in front of our home crowd for this upcoming stretch. "
“Jimmy (Maurer) had a good save as well on that play but at the end the ball went exactly to the head of their player who scored,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese of the decisive Scorpions goal. “Those things are going to happen. I just think it could’ve been a little bit better in our final third and it’s a game that I think if we win 2-1, 3-1, I think we’d be talking about how well we played at the end of the game.”
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers moved up to third place in the NASL standings following a 3-2 victory against Indy Eleven in a thrilling match at Lockhart Stadium.
An early goal from Strikers winger Martin Nuñez was canceled out on a penalty kick from Kleberson in a fast and furious opening 45 minutes. Second half goals from Fafà Picault and Marius Ebbers proved the difference while a late strike from Indy Eleven’s Erick Norales was merely a consolation. Jimmy (Maurer) had a good save as well on that play but at the end the ball went exactly to the head of their player who scored. Those things are going to happen. I just think it could’ve been a little bit better in our final third and it’s a game that I think if we win 2-1, 3-1, I think we’d be talking about how well we played at the end of the game.
The Atlanta Silverbacks bounced back in a big way with a 3-1 victory at Al Lang Stadium over the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Atlanta’s Junior Sandoval netted in only the seventh minute of play and the Rowdies fired right back with a 15 minute goal by Georgi Hristov. Atlanta pulled away in the second half with strikes from Jaime Chavez and Deon McCaulay.
Rowdies coach Ricky Hill noted, “We created a few chances, we couldn’t get a proper goal. We were vulnerable in the back end and gave away two more goals which were avoidable but good play by Atlanta to expose our weakness.”
|1||Minnesota United FC||3||3||0||0||5||1||4||9|
|3||Fort Lauderdale Strike||3||2||0||1||6||6||0||6|
|4||San Antonio Scorpions||3||2||0||1||3||3||0||6|
|6||Ottawa Fury FC||3||1||0||2||5||4||1||3|
|9||Tampa Bay Rowdies||3||0||2||1||3||5||-2||2|
Tiebreakers: 1.) Goal difference 2.) Goals scored 3.) Head-to-head 4.) Away goal difference 5.) Away goals scored