Welcome to NASLog, our weekly round-up of all things NASL. This is still a work in progress, so feel free to let us know what you want to see, or not see from us.
|San Antonio Scorpions||25||13||7||5||22||46|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||25||11||7||7||4||40|
|Puerto Rico Islanders||26||10||7||9||0||37|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||26||9||8||9||-5||35|
|Minnesota Stars FC||26||8||10||8||3||34|
* Matt Horth scored his ninth goal of the season in a 1-1 draw against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on a cool Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. Coming off a 2-0 road win over FC Edmonton, Silverbacks Head Coach Brian Haynes did little to change his lineup on Saturday. Eric Ati got his second start in goal with Shane Moroney and Lucas Paulini also staying in the starting Xl.
* The Atlanta Silverbacks are taking their next big decision to the people. The organization announced Tuesday the launch of their “Decision 2012: Silverbacks or Chiefs” campaign, which will give their fans and others in the community the opportunity to decide the team’s name for the future. The unique campaign will feature three voting options: keep the current team name, bring back the name of the city’s first ever professional team, the Atlanta Chiefs, or write in a team name of their own.
* The Silverbacks will head back to Atlanta Silverbacks Park next weekend to take on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and then the San Antonio Scorpions to close out their home game schedule.
* The Carolina RailHawks managed to clinch a spot for the playoffs with ties by FC Edmonton and Atlanta earlier in the evening. The RailHawks fell to the San Antonio Scorpions 1-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park in a match that was delayed two hours due to weather. A late goal by Jeff Cuningham, the MLS´s all-time leading scorer, proved to be all the Scorpions would need. Prior to the match over 600 fans enjoyed the RailHawks Homebrew Soktoberfest.
* The Carolina RailHawks earned a 2-2 draw against FC Edmonton in Canada with two goals from Nick Zimmerman. The point allowed the RailHawks to climb to 4th place in the NASL standings with just 3 games left for the team. Zimmerman scored his 14th and 15th goals on the season for Carolina and FC Edmonton’s Michael Porter matched Zimmerman with two goals on the night. A top four finish will guarantee the RailHawks a home playoff game.
* The Carolina RailHawks have acquired midfielder Luke Sassano from Major League Soccer on a loan for the remainder of the NASL Season. Sassano, 26, spent the last two years of his career with Sporting Kansas City after being drafted by New York Red Bulls in 2008.
* With a spot in the playoffs secured, the RailHawks must now focus on the four remaining games of the season as they look to secure a home game for the playoffs. The RailHawks will be on the road or two more games in a week before returning to WakeMed Soccer Park before the regular season finale on Saturday, September 22nd at 7:00 PM. On Sunday, September 16th, the RailHawks will face the Scorpions in San Antonio at 7:15 PM ET. At lastly, on Wednesday, September 19th at 7:30 PM the RailHawks will take on the Rowdies in Tampa Bay.
* In a game that FC Edmonton needed to win to stay alive in the playoff race, leading-scorer Shaun Saiko scored a goal in injury time to save the Eddies’ season. It was the defending champions Minnesota Stars FC who opened the scoring early in the first half when Amani Walker hooked onto a cross from Justin Davies in the box and slotted it past Lance Parker in the Edmonton goal in the 18th minute.
*In a game that didn’t mean much in the standings for FC Edmonton, the home team played with a purpose in front of 1,251 fans. After it was all said and done, the FC Edmonton and the Carolina Railhawks ended up with a 2-2 tie.
* Next up for the Eddies is a Sunday afternoon game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
* The Fort Lauderdale Strikers clinched a spot in the NASL Playoffs for the second consecutive season with a 1-1 draw against the Puerto Rico Islanders in front of 4,704 fans at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night. Puerto Rico scored in just the second minute of the match, and the Strikers answered in the 8th minute, but there would be no more scoring in the match.
* Fort Lauderdale will now take to the road for their final two regular season games against the Atlanta Silverbacks and FC Edmonton. Should the team finish the season in third or fourth place, Fort Lauderdale would host a first round playoff game at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Minnesota Stars FC
* Fan Appreciation Night nearly gave the 2,365 fans in attendance at NSC Stadium a playoff berth to celebrate, only for the last kick of the match to leave them waiting. Amani Walker scored his team-leading sixth goal for Minnesota Stars FC in the 19th minute, but Shaun Saiko scored deep into stoppage time to rescue a 1-1 draw for FC Edmonton as the Stars once again let a lead slip in the second half.
* After going two months without a win and two months without scoring more than once in a game, the Stars exploded for four goals Tuesday night in a 4-0 win that secured their place in the NASL playoffs. Nate Polak, Miguel Ibarra, Jamie Watson and Amani Walker scored in the rout for Minnesota.
Puerto Rico Islanders
*The Puerto Rico Islanders earned another important point on the road tonight when they ended their visit to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in a 1 – 1 draw. With this result, the Islanders are still in third place in NASL standings with 37 points, after having clinched a playoff spot with last week’s league results.
* The Puerto Rico Islanders return home without goals from Minnesota after losing 0 – 4 against the Stars FC in NSC Stadium on Tuesday night. With this result, the playoff picture becomes clearer, as the Islanders are still in third position NASL standings with 37 points and the Stars clinched the 6thand last playoff spot. The Islanders will finish the season at home, their next to last tomorrow, September 15th at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, when they receive the Minnesota Stars at 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay Rowdies
* The Tampa Bay Rowdies tied 1-1 against the Atlanta Silverbacks Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. The Rowdies played a man down for over 20 minutes as defender Eddy Ababio received his second yellow card of the match and was ejected in the 67th minute.
* Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Takuya Yamada has been named the North American Soccer League Defensive Player of the Week for the first time this season, the league announced on Monday. Yamada has scored three goals this season and leads the NASL in minutes played with 2,250 minutes this season.
* The Tampa Bay Rowdies have announced today that the club signed a 4-year agreement keeping the Rowdies the primary tenant at Al Lang Stadium in Downtown St. Petersburg starting with the 2013 season. Al Lang Stadium has been the home of the Rowdies for the 2011 and 2012 NASL seasons in partnership with the City of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Baseball Commission. “The Rowdies are an important part of the Tampa Bay community and are proud to be an integral part of St. Pete’s growing downtown landscape,” said Rowdies Owner & President Andrew Nestor. “St. Pete has embraced the club and we will continue to build on the amazing stadium atmosphere at Al Lang.”
* The Rowdies will visit FC Edmonton on Sunday, September 16 at Clarke Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 4:10 p.m. (ET).
San Antonio Scorpions
* The first-place Scorpions now hold a six-point advantage over the Tampa Bay Rowdies, inching closer towards winning the NASL regular season championship and earning a bye into the semifinal round of the playoffs. ”Seeing Jeff [Cunningham] score that goal was an exciting moment,” Scorpions Head Coach Tim Hankinson said. “Strikers need to get into a rhythm and we believe this is the start of great things to come.”
* The Scorpions will face the RailHawks again at home on Sunday, Sept. 16. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Heroes Stadium.