In preparation for the 2013 Fall Campaign, several NASL teams spent the month of July playing international matches in front of large crowds against clubs from Canada, England, Guatemala and Mexico.
A sold out crowd of 5,000 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park had the host Silverbacks defeating the five-time Guatemala champion CSD Xejau MC, 3-2, on July 27.
Colombian midfielder Danny Barrera scored twice and second half substitute forward Alex Caceres had one to pace the 2013 NASL Spring Season Champion to the victory while claiming the inaugural ‘Reto Cup.’
The San Antonio Scorpions, who finished third at the NASL Spring Season Standings, hosted two friendlies against Mexican sides in July that averaged 6,783 spectators.
Despite a 5-1 losing to Tigres UANL, a record crowd of 8,255 fans attended the showcase match for San Antonio’s soccer community on July 6, at Toyota Field.
Defender Blake Wagner and Bosnian midfielder Edin Husic displayed some excellent passing in the midfield against Tigres, which resulted in the only goal for the Scorpions when Wagner beat the Mexican backline by tapping the ball in the net after a great counter attack led to a succession of great passes from the Scorpions’ midfield.
On July 20th, 5,311 fans were at Toyota Field to see the Scorpions lose a hard-fought 2-1 decision to CSD Dorados de Sinaloa. San Antonio’s Greg Janicki scored in the opening two minutes however Dorados came back with tallies in each half for the victory.
Elsewhere, the New York Cosmos, who make their return to the NASL in almost 30 years, traveled to England for several matches against local sides.
Two goals from Italian forward Alessandro Noselli and one each from midfielders Sebastian Guenzatti of Uruguay and Spaniard’s Marcos Senna gave the Cosmos to a 4-1 win over Old Carthusians FC at London’s Charterhouse School Stadium on July 21.
Guenzatti also had New York’s only tally, three days later, in the 2-1 loss to Leyton Orient FC at London’s Matchroom Stadium.
The Cosmos closed out the English trip on July 26, with a 1-1 draw against Gillingham FC at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Bulgarian striker Stefan Dimitrov gave New York the lead in the first half, but Gillingham got the equalizer just before the final whistle.
Another NASL side that traveled for in an international match was Minnesota United FC as they topped the Canadian side Thunder Bay Chill, 4-0, at Chapples Park in Ontario on July 23.
Midfielder Michael Reed along with forwards Nate Polak, Travis Wall and Trinidad & Tobago’s Sean De Silva scored four unanswered goals in the second half in the victory for Manny Lagos’s side.
Photo - Record crowd of 8,255 at Toyota Field during San Antonio Scorpions - Tigres UNAL of Mexico on July 6, 2013
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