A rare Friday night showdown between two surging Soccer Bowl hopefuls kicks off Labor Day Weekend action in the NASL, as the Carolina RailHawks pay a visit to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in search of a commanding six-point lead atop the NASL standings. The New York Cosmos, who sit alone in second place, must wait until Sunday afternoon’s match against in Edmonton—New York’s first trip to Canada in three decades—to return serve in a bid to register their first road victory of the season.
Though the Cosmos trail the league-leading Railhawks by only three points, they are unlikely to overtake the North Carolina outfit this weekend, even with favorable results. A resounding 3-0 defeat two weeks ago in Cary, N.C., has—at least for now—ensured that a large gulf separates the two sides in the goal differential column.
But as the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who travel to Atlanta to take on the Silverbacks Saturday evening, showed earlier this season in storming back from three goals down to register a 7-4 road defeat of the San Antonio Scorpions, fortunes in the NASL can change in the blink of an eye. Though the Rowdies have struggled to find the back of the net since that Round 1 triumph, they remain undefeated. Next they meet a Silverbacks squad that will be keen to refocus after last week’s disappointing 1-0 home loss against the Strikers.
The other Saturday matchup pits the Fall Season’s last remaining winless team, the San Antonio Scorpions, against Minnesota United FC in a battle of the seventh and eighth place teams. While the Scorpions have conceded 12 goals en route to four straight defeats to begin Fall play, a much more defensively stout Minnesota side has only fared marginally better, taking just four points from its first four games. In addition to dropping all four of its contests, San Antonio also made the decision to drop its head coach, Tim Hankinson, after another slow start, replacing him on an interim basis with assistant coach Alen Marcina.
Compiled by: Ben Simmons, IndyEleven.com
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RowdiesSoccer.com: Rowdies Front Row – Episode 2: FC Edmonton
NYCosmos.com: Behind the Scenes with New York Cosmos Supporters
MNUnitedFC.com: Coach’s Corner with Minnesota United FC’s Manny Lagos
Soccer By Ives: Cosmos Notes
Friday, August 30
Fort Lauderdale Strikers v. Carolina RailHawks – #FTLvCAR
Lockhart Stadium – Fort Lauderdale, FL – 7:30 pm ET
Strikers.com: Striker Likers! Get Ready for Friday, August 30!
Saturday, August 31
Atlanta Silverbacks v. Tampa Bay Rowdies – #ATLvTBR
Atlanta Silverbacks Park – Atlanta, GA – 7:30 pm ET
San Antonio Scorpions v. Minnesota United FC – #SASvMNU
Toyota Field – San Antonio, TX – 8:30 pm ET
Sunday, September 1
FC Edmonton v. New York Cosmos – #FCEvNYC
Clarke Stadium – Edmonton, AB – 4:00 pm ET