NASL Back In Action: Fall Season Kicks Off This Weekend

The Race For ‘The Championship’ Resumes With
A Full Slate of Matches on NASLLive.com

 

NEW YORK, NY July 11, 2014 – After a mid-season break to honor the FIFA World Cup, the quest to qualify for the ‘The Championship’ resumes this weekend in Carolina, Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Tampa Bay.  Nine teams will take aim at the three remaining postseason spots and join the Spring Season titleholder Minnesota United FC  in ‘The Championship’  with the opportunity to lift the third oldest men’s professional soccer prize in the United States, the NASL Soccer Bowl.  Soccer fans can tune in to www.NASLlive.com to watch all five matches this weekend.

NASL soccer resumes 2014

Minnesota United, who captured its first title since 2011 last month and secured one of the four berths to ‘The Championship’, will travel to take on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium at 7:30 pm ET.

Minnesota has lost only once during its last 11 regular season matches.  United has also won four of the last five encounters against the Strikers at Minnesota including this past Spring, when the host posted 3-1 victory at NSC Stadium on May 17.

“It’s going to be a difficult game,” said United coach Manny Lagos.  “They have a lot offensive weapons and have some size on defense. I think the weather conditions of playing in Fort Lauderdale in July with the heat and humidity are always challenging.

“All those factors will present a challenging first game, but at the same time we are looking forward to getting back to soccer and hopefully playing well.”

NASL Fall Week 1 encounters kick off with a matchup between two sides that were tantalizingly close to the Spring title and are aiming for their spots in ‘The Championship.’ Last year’s NASL Soccer Bowl winners New York Cosmos welcome San Antonio Scorpions at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium at 7 pm ET.

The Cosmos, who open the season at home for the third consecutive time, were a point behind Minnesota for the first-half title, while Scorpions finished third this past Spring.

“We are starting off the season playing against a quality team,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese, whose team suffered their first home loss last Spring to the Scorpions.  “They defeated us at home last year, breaking our long lasting undefeated record at (James M.) Shuart Stadium. Our players are looking forward to this match and we are ready to get off to a strong start for this Fall Season.”

Scorpions coach Alen Marinca, who’s side is unbeaten in their last five games and have a perfect 4-0-0 road record, commented on the team’s encounter against the Cosmos:  “New York has shown these last two seasons the quality in their team and how tough they are to play at home, but we’re looking to replicate our form on the road from the Spring and come away with a positive result.”

Also on Saturday, Carolina RailHawks, who reached the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals for a second consecutive year, will look to continue their momentum into the Fall Campaign when they put their NASL Match 18-home game unbeaten streak on the line against Indy Eleven at WakeMed Soccer Park live on ESPN3.

“The Fall Season will be more of a marathon than the nine-game Spring Season, but it will still be important to start strong,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke.  “It’s a fresh start for everyone and it will be great to kick off the Fall Season in front of our home crowd.”

This also will be the first visit to the Triangle for Indy Eleven, however both sides have met before this past Spring where a season record crowd of 11,048 at IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium witnessed the host play to a 1-1 draw against the RailHawks.

“We’re excited and hungry to get back on the field and start the Fall Season with a good result,” said Indy Eleven coach Juergen Sommer, whose side is searching for its first NASL win.  “Doing that against a solid Carolina team in a tough environment will be a challenge, but one that we’re looking forward to.  The Fall Season gives us the chance to start fresh while using the experience we gained during the spring.”

Closing out Saturday’s encounters are two other teams searching to get back in the hunt for berths to ‘The Championship,’ as Tampa Bay Rowdies host Atlanta Silverbacks on the brand new playing surface at Al Lang Stadium at 7:30 pm ET.

“It’s vital that we get off on the right foot at home,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill.  “It’s a chance that we have to take full advantage of. We’ve got great fans who come out and they’re passionate about the side.

“As a team, aesthetically, we’ve grown from the back end of last year. I’m hoping now that they show on Saturday evening and get us three points.”

The Silverbacks, who reached the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals for the first time in their history, have won two out of the last three encounters against the Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium.

“We’re excited to get back into the swing of things in Tampa,” said Silverbacks Technical Director, Eric Wynalda.  “We felt like we were starting to find our form near the end of the NASL Spring Season, and I think our recent results against these MLS clubs are an indication of that. We hope to continue that form in Tampa, and hopefully we start getting points of out of these types of games that we unfortunately didn’t take anything from in the spring.”

The 2014 Fall Season Week 1 concludes on Sunday, July 13, with a Canadian matchup when Ottawa Fury FC visits FC Edmonton at Commonwealth Stadium, while Clarke Stadium finishes its new field turf installation.  The first NASL match at Commonwealth Stadium since 1981 is scheduled for kickoff at 6 pm ET (4 pm MT).

“It will be a difficult game for us to start off the Fall Season with, but at least we will be at home,” said FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller.  “I think that if we continue along the lines of how we played against Carolina at the end of last season then we’ll be in a good place.”

This will be the second-ever meeting in league play between Edmonton-Ottawa, however the two sides already have history together after competing at the Amway Canadian Championship. The previous league encounter took place this past Spring (May 31) with the Fury topping the visiting Eddies 1-0 at Carleton University’s Keith Harris Stadium.

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 these Week 1 matches in Carolina, Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Tampa Bay at www.NASLLive.com.

Watch Every Match Live throughout the 2014 NASL Fall season by subscribing to either a Monthly Pass or a Full Season Pass that gets you access to all 90 matches (including The Championship and Soccer Bowl).  A Monthly Pass to NASLLive.com costs $4.99 recurring, a Season Pass is available for $19.99.

NASL Fall Season Week 1 Schedule­ (All kickoff times US EST)

Saturday, July 12

New York Cosmos vs. San Antonio Scorpions

Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium; Hempstead, N.Y.  7 pm

 

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Atlanta Silverbacks

Al Lang Stadium; St. Petersburg, Fla. 7:30pm

 

Carolina RailHawks vs. Indy Eleven

WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C. 7:30 pm

 

Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Minnesota United FC

Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 7:30pm

 

Sunday, July 13

FC Edmonton vs. Ottawa Fury FC

Commonwealth Stadium; Edmonton, Alberta 6 pm  

 

How they finished in the Spring: 

NASL Standings

P

W

D

L

F

A

P

Minnesota United FC

9

6

2

1

16

9

20

New York Cosmos

9

6

1

2

14

3

19

San Antonio Scorpions

9

5

2

2

13

9

17

Carolina RailHawks

9

4

2

3

11

15

14

Fort Lauderdale Strikers

9

4

1

4

18

18

13

Ottawa Fury FC

9

3

1

5

14

13

10

Tampa Bay Rowdies

9

2

4

3

11

16

10

Atlanta Silverbacks

9

3

1

5

12

20

10

FC Edmonton

9

2

2

5

11

11

8

Indy Eleven

9

0

4

5

14

20

4

 

Tiebreakers – 1. Goal Differential – 2. Total Goals – 3. Head-To-Head Record

 

This Week In The NASL

NASL Teams Reach 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals

For the first time in history two NASL teams reached the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as Atlanta Silverbacks and Carolina RailHawks came short of their efforts of reaching the next stage of the annual single elimination national competition this week. Full Story

 

“We’re all very proud of the RailHawks and Silverbacks effort tonight and the efforts from all of our clubs throughout the tournament,” said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. “This is a great competition and the accomplishments of all our clubs this year is a tremendous testament to the level of play in NASL after three years in the U.S. Open Cup competition. This is the type of effort and action NASL fans enjoy at every match and with the NASL Fall Season kicking off this weekend, our clubs are showing the continued growth and quality of the NASL.”

 

In only the third year in the U.S. Open Cup, the NASL teams have outscored their opposition 88 to 68 in 47 total games while posting a 25-3-19 overall record along with 14 shutouts. 

NASL Clubs Go Unbeaten In International Friendlies Last Week

Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Minnesota United FC and San Antonio Scorpions all went unbeaten in international friendies played last week in preparations for the start of the NASL Fall Season.

 

The RailHawks posted a 2-1win over two-time Mexican First Division (Liga MX) champion Puebla FC at WakeMed Soccer Park last Sunday (July 6).  Carolina’s victory was also the first by an NASL team over a Mexican club in the ‘Modern Era.’   

Also on Sunday, the Scorpions held the three-time CONCACAF Champion League winners CF Monterrey of Mexico to a 1-1draw at Toyota Field, while FC Edmonton earned a 2-0 shutout victory over the host Seattle Sounders FC of MLS at Starfire Sports Complex.


Elsewhere, the 2014 NASL Spring Season Champion United defeated the Mexican Under-21 National Team,
4-3, on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw at the NSC Stadium on July 4.

About the NASL
The North American Soccer League is a professional soccer league established in the United States and Canada. The NASL member teams are: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC, San Antonio Scorpions FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies. Jacksonville Armada, Virginia Cavalry FC and Oklahoma City will commence play in 2015. For more information about the NASL, visit www.NASL.com. Follow the NASL on Twitter @NASLOfficial and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NASLfans. Fans can watch every game live at  www.NASLlive.com.
Posted in: Cary NC, Events, Soccer
Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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