NASL Week 15: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Don't look now, but the Atlanta Silverbacks are starting to string together some results.

Atlanta and fellow bottom-dweller Montreal Impact battled to a 2-2 draw in Canada on Sunday. It was the first time in 2011 the Atlanta Silverbacks were able to stay unbeaten over two games. Montreal's difficult run of form continues as the Impact has not won since June 1.

FC Edmonton failed to take advantage of Carolina's midweek draw with a 2-1 loss to FC Tampa Bay. Edmonton still trails the Railhawks by 13 points and is down to third in the standings. FC Tampa Bay is out of sixth place and now finds itself less than five points outside of second place as the middle of the NASL table has begun to bunch up.

The Puerto Rico Islanders are back into second place with a narrow 1-0 win over the NSC Minnesota Stars. The Islanders have risen back to second place despite a razor-thin +1 goal differential. The Stars were shutout for the first time since June 11.

Here is a look back at all the action in the NASL over the weekend:

Montreal Impact 2, Atlanta Silverbacks 2

A late goal from Eduardo Sebrango denied Atlanta its second straight win and kept some distance between the Impact and the Silverbacks.

The visiting Silverbacks took an early lead when Matt Horth directed Tyler Ruthven's cross past Evan Bush. The Impact goalkeeper was called upon again in the 20th minute and denied Luke Kreamalmeyer from close range but it was Montreal who would equalize before half. Sebrango pounced on a pass from Mignane Diouf and converted from the middle of the penalty area.

Horth completed his brace to give Atlanta another lead just after halftime with a headed goal but Sebrango saved Montreal's blushes with a headed goal off a corner kick in the dying minutes of the game.

FC Tampa Bay 2, FC Edmonton 1

Mike Ambersley's second-half goal gave visiting FC Tampa Bay a vital 2-1 win over Edmonton.

Kyle Porter scored in the 19th minute courtesy of an assist from Ilja Van Leerdam. After going down a goal, Tampa Bay's offense kicked into gear, hitting the post in the 21st minute before finally tying it on the half-hour mark with a goal from Aaron King.

Ambersley scored his eight goal of the season in the 71st minute and Edmonton couldn't recover. Ambersley is now tied with Jonathan Fana for second in the league's goal scoring table and FC Tampa Bay has opened up a four-game unbeaten streak.

Puerto Rico Islanders 1, NSC Minnesota Stars 0

Jarad Van Schaik's simple tap-in gave Puerto Rico a late victory over Minnesota.

Neither team saw much in the way of offense and David Foley's cross to Van Schaik for a simple goal being one the game's few chances.

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What did you think of this weekend's results? Excited to see Atlanta play well? Could FC Tampa Bay be a dark-horse contender in the playoffs?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to NASL Week 15: A Look Back

  1. Ivan says:

    The Tampa Rowdies are on a roll: Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, then Bolton Wanderers, and last night, Edmonton.

    Last night’s win was achieved without the team’s best player this season, Pascal Millien, and Takuya Yamada only came on as a sub with under half hour to go (still recovering from an injury, as I understand).

    With all of the Railhawks games out of the way, I can see the Rowdies challenging for a top 3 finish.

    Away to Atlanta next!

  2. chris says:

    Matt Horth is a good find by Atlanta and is that the same Kyle Porter Vancouver let go?

  3. ATLfan says:

    Horth is awful. He is tactically and technically terrible. Atlanta’s defensive struggles start with his inability to ever maintain possession or produce an intelligent pass or run. His first touch constantly evades him and his only idea of providing offensive support is by sprinting in a straight line up the field, looking for a ball over the top as if he was a second-rate U-12 player.

  4. GCScots says:

    If Horth is awful, then what does that say about the other Atlanta forwards? Horth is bagging goals and keeping his team in games. Give him a little credit my man. By the way, kudos to the Silverbacks for finding him and giving him a chance.

  5. chris says:

    Thats wierd because I consider 6 goals in 15 appearances pretty effective. Considering Atlanta has only scored 17 goals all season, Horth scoring 35% of the goals, scoring the game winners in all of their wins and having a goal in all games where Atlanta got a point, Id say he has done his job as a striker (which is to score not create intelligent passes). I also dont think you can blame him for letting in 35 goals. Plus I said he was a good find which I was trying to give credit to Atlanta for finding a rookie player that played at a very low level college that has been so effective. I didnt say he had a beautiful touch.

  6. Silverbacks says:

    You are a second rate blogger. You lack of knowledge of the game and the inability to give Horth credit for what he brings to that team is astounding. Grow up and take an objective look.

  7. whoareya? says:

    not to mention hes a great lockerroom guy. he’ll be a key player in 2014 for england for sure.

  8. Tampa fan says:

    Pascal Tampa’s best player haha. You’re kidding right? I’ve never seen anyone dribble into the corner and get doubled and triple teamed more than that kid. The team is winning games because Ricky and Dave have finally put a starting 11 out that works hard the whole game and puts the team first before any individual. Next time you watch a Tampa game watch Mr. Millien and ask yourself if he’s a hard worker.