Strikers GK Richard Sanchez has two shutouts in a row! Photo by Jon van Woerden
With only four points separating the top seven teams in the North American Soccer League, any one of Saturday’s games in the sixth week of Fall Season action could propel the winner to the top of the standings.
The side currently holding pole position, the Carolina RailHawks visit the only unbeaten team, the Tampa Bay Rowdies in an intriguing clash at 7.30pm on Saturday. The RailHawks have only taken one point away from their WakeMed Soccer Park fortress, while the Rowdies have drawn both home games at Al Lang Stadium with picking up points on the road their specialty. While Carolina looks to defend top spot, Tampa Bay can climb to the summit with a win, a swing in goal difference and results elsewhere going in their favor.
“Coming off a disappointing result over the weekend, we need to continue our strong week of training and be ready to play from the opening whistle,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke. “The first goal is going to be important.”
Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said: “I’ve told the squad the importance of picking up the three points this Saturday. We want to give our fans a win at home, and hopefully it will help us reach our goal which is winning the Soccer Bowl. Carolina is a very talented squad, but our players know that if we are on top of our game come this Saturday then no one can beat us.”
The in-form team in the NASL right now is the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who return to Lockhart Stadium at 7.30pm on Saturday on the back of a three-game winning streak to face the so far winless San Antonio Scorpions. Watch highlight of Strikers vs Carolina.
New Strikers coach Günter Kronsteiner – who is now five games into his tenure – has turned around the fortunes of the side that finished last in the NASL Spring Season and is sitting in second place on nine points with a point more than they tallied in the first half of the season. A win coupled with a RailHawks draw or loss would catapult the Strikers to the top of the table and from worst to first in six short weeks.
“This will be the hardest game we’ve had to date, because we are now, for the first time, in the position of the favorites,” said coach Kronsteiner. “San Antonio is going to come in and play us very hard. We have to try to dominate this team, because when you are in last place, you tend to play in a different way than you do when you are in first place like when we played Carolina.”
Read the full article on NASL.com