FC Edmonton, the team that propped up the 2012 North American Soccer League standings has the early advantage in 2013, leading the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1-0 in Florida on opening night.
Shaun Saiko lofted a cross into the home penalty area and Wes Knight headed home for the first goal of the new campaign after 15 minutes, leaving the Canadians on top at the break.
Across the state in St Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Rowdies also had the ball in the net after a quarter of an hour, but an offside call denied Jay Needham’s header, leaving the 2012 Soccer Bowl winners’ clash with the Carolina Railhawks scoreless at the break.
“The only thing we haven’t done is put the ball in the net more than the once it was called offside,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill, whose club unveiled the 2012 championship banner before the game at Al Lang Stadium. I’m happy with how we’ve set our stall out and defensively we’re able to play further up the pitch.”
RailHawks coach Colin Clarke was less enthusiastic, saying: “Hopefully we’ll play better in the second half because so far we’ve been awful.”
At the Metrodome, Minnesota United and the San Antonio Scorpions are also deadlocked at the interval, in a game littered with chances but with neither side able to find a breakthrough.
“I thought we got stretched a few times and I’d like to see our possession be a little better so we can create some chances and build on the things we did well,”said United coach Manny Lagos. “We need to move the ball quicker and try to finish plays off.”
Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson said: “We created chances but both teams are defending well. Our possession has to improve and both teams are both feeling each other out.”
|Rowdies Get Even Rowdier|
|Ricky Hill Returns As Rowdies Coach|
|Throwback Thursday - Pre-NASL: Oakland Top Baltimore To Win 1967 NPSL Championship|
|Indy Eleven Add Four More To 2014 NASL Roster|
|Scorpions Sign Danny Barrera, Jonathan Fana|
|Cosmos Defender To Play In Testimonial Match|
|Milton Blanco Joins FC Edmonton|
|Ottawa Fury FC Sign Irish Midfielder Richie Ryan|
|Silverbacks Exercise Contract Options To 11 Players For 2014 NASL Season|
|Silverbacks Part Ways With Haynes|
|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|