Monday, May 28, 2012

NASL Recap: Week 8

Article by Doak Gips


Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Minnesota Stars


It wasn't for a lack of trying, but neither the Rowdies nor the Stars could put anything into the back of the net, and played to a 0-0 draw in front of 3182 fans at Al Lang Stadium in Tampa Bay. Some of the best chances came in about a 3 minute span, as the Stars Devin Del Do had a ball dropped right to his feet, but couldn't place home the half volley. The Rowdies immediately responded with their own chance off a cross from Takuya Yamada to the head of Daniel Antoniuk, but that was also sent just over the bar. The Rowdies will play the Colorado Rapids of MLS in US Open Cup play at home at Al Lang, while the Stars, after doing the unthinkable and selling off their game, will be headed to Rio Tinto in Salt Lake.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Atlanta Silverbacks

A total of 29 shots added up to a 1-1 draw between the Strikers and Silverbacks at Lockhart Stadium in front of 2404 fans. While the first half went by without a goal, and only 8 shots total, both teams decided to see what would happen if they let their defense take a nap in the 2nd half, but neither could truly capitalize. The Strikers went up first off a beautiful volley from Midfielder Mark Anderson, notching his first goal of the year. Atlanta tied it back up in the 69th minute after a ball that got pinballed around the hot zone landed at Francisco Navia's feet, who calmly put it passed Matt Glaeser. Unfortunately for the Silverbacks, that's all they could get, as they remain winless on the year. Take that  Danny Koevermans. Well, to be fair, the Silverbacks at least got some points. In US Open Cup play this week, the Strikers will play away at San Jose, and the Silverbacks sold their soul to the Sounders, and will play them at the 'Link.


FC Edmonton vs. San Antonio Scorpions

It could have been a trap game for San Antonio, and it was awfully close, but the Scorpions came back and held onto a 2-2 draw at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton. With Canadian U-23 player Shaun Saiko doing most of the dirty work by sending in a whipping cross that grazed off the hair of Yashir Pinto and past Scorpions Goalkeeper Daryl Sattler. Saiko decided to do the work on his own the second time, and poked another ball passed Sattler to put the Eddies up 2-0. Dynamo midfielder on loan Josue Soto made the Eddies' pay after they gave him Texas-sized space right out front of the 18 and brought the score back, 2-1. The Scorpions are beginning to prove their worth on set-pieces, after a ball sent in by Hans Denissen found the head of Aaron Pitchkolan, who brought the game level. This was a mirror image of last week, as another free kick found Ryan Cochrane for the goal. The Scorpions host the Houston Dynamo in US Open Cup play this week, while FC Edmonton are from another country.

Also of note, the Puerto Rico Islanders are currently playing in the CFU, the Caribbean Football Union championship. They are in the final group pairing with USL Pro side Antigua-Barbuda, and Caledonia AIA and W Connection, both of Trinidad and Tobago. Top three teams out of that four team group automatically get into the CONCACAF champions league.

As the NASL writer, I should throw my junk into the sell/keep the home game argument. I did poke fun throughout the recaps, but I stand at this. If the situation benefits both teams to sell off a home game, then by all means, go ahead and do it. The fans will feel robbed sure, but if you provide them with meaningful reasons, and follow through on it, then I have no problem with it. There was a fantastic interview done by @IMSoccerNews with Silverbacks owner Boris Jerkunica (who helps nothing by actually having “Jerk” in his name) about the reasoning behind it, and his argument is completely logical. Using that money, they are giving away free home tickets, and staging an MLS exhibition game. Fantastic ideas, and I'm sure the extra money beyond that will also help the club. And to top it off, it looks like Seattle will be streaming the game live for free on their website. So it's a win/win for everyone. Keep that in mind before you start jawing at teams for selling off games. Here's a link to the full interview as well.

Here's your updated table results.


Team Name
GP
W
D
L
GD
PTS







Puerto Rico Islanders
8
5
2
1
11
17
Minnesota Stars FC
8
4
4
0
6
16
San Antonio Scorpions
8
4
3
1
2
15
Tampa Bay Rowdies
9
3
3
3
0
12
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
9
2
4
3
-4
10
FC Edmonton
8
2
2
4
0
8
Carolina RailHawks
9
0
5
4
-7
5
Atlanta Silverbacks
9
0
5
4
-8
5









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