NASL Week 1: A Look Back

FTL Strikers 1

photo by Rosa Cavalcanti

By FRANCO PANIZO

Opening weekend of the 2012 NASL season saw no shortage of drama, especially in South Florida where the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers overcame being a man down to earn their first three points of the season.

Finishing as runners-up last season, the Strikers began their quest of returning to the NASL Championship Series with a 1-0 win over FC Edmonton in front of 4,779 fans at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night. 

The Strikers topped Edmonton despite playing with 10 men for more than half of the match. Forward Aly Hassan, who made his professional debut in the game, was given a controversial red card in the 40th minute of the match, but Ft. Lauderdale regrouped at halftime and responded just after the hourmark.

Former Chicago Fire forward Andy Herron got on the end of a cross from Scott Lorenz and powered home a finish against Canadian U-23 goalkeeper Michal Mislewicz to give head coach Daryl Shore a win at the start of his third season in charge of the Strikers.

Here are highlights of the match as well as a look back at the rest of the Week 1 action in NASL:

 

MINNESOTA HELD TO SCORELESS DRAW BY CAROLINA

The Minnesota Stars FC's title defense got off to a disappointing start, as the reigning NASL champions were held to a scoreless draw by the Carolina RailHawks. Playing in front of a record crowd of 8,693 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn., the Stars failed to find the back of the net despite outshooting Carolina, 22-2.

RailHawks goalkeeper Ray Burse was one of the heroes in the game, making eight saves en route to recording the shutout. Burse was also not beaten on a penalty kick from Stars midfielder Neil Hlavaty, who shot over the crossbar on his attempt in the 72nd minute.

The RailHawks were without U.S. Under-23 men's national team centerback Gale Agbossoumonde, who continues to recover from a toe injury. 

Here are the match highlights:

 

SCORPIONS OPEN WITH DRAW AGAINST SILVERBACKS

The San Antonio Scorpions officially kicked off their time as an NASL club on Saturday, playing to a scoreless draw with the Atlanta Silverbacks in front of a capacity crowd of 5,000 at Atlanta SIlverbacks Park in Atlanta.

Both teams had chances in the game, but neither was able to find the back of the net as Scorpions goalkeeper Pat Hannigan and Silverbacks goalkeeper Daniel Illyes recorded cleansheets to begin the year.

Here are the match highlights:

 

ISLANDERS TOP ROWDIES DESPITE PLAYING WITH 10 MEN

The Puerto Rico Islanders may have played with a one-man disadvantage for over half an hour, but they were still able to open their season with a win. The Islanders defeated the rebranded Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-0, at Bayamon Soccer Complex in Bayamon, Puerto Rico through a second-half goal from Ncholas Addlery.

The Islanders striker opened his account for the season in the 69th minute with a left-footed effort that beat Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. The goal came 11 minutes after defender Jamie Cunningham had been sent off for a hard foul in the match played in front of 952 fans.

Here are the match highlights:

 

 

NASL Standings

1. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 3 points, +1 GD

2. Puerto Rico Islanders 3 points, +1 GD

3. Atlanta Silverbacks 1 point, 0 GD

4. Carolina RailHawks 1 point, 0 GD

5. Minnesota Stars FC 1 point, 0 GD

6. San Antonio Scorpions 1 point, 0 GD

7. FC Edmonton 0 points, -1 GD

8. Tampa Bay Rowdies 0 points, -1 GD

 

NOTES

—-

What did you think of the Strikers' 1-0 win over Edmonton? Surprised the Stars were held scoreless despite taking 22 shots on goal? Happy to see the Scorpions draw in their first NASL game?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in NASL. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to NASL Week 1: A Look Back

  1. JacobATL says:

    Difference between this year’s Silverbacks and last’s is wider than night and day. Turcios was great, and Maroney moving up to midfield from right back was great for him and the team as a whole.

  2. Luke says:

    Was at the Minnesota Stars game at the dome. Nice to see 8,600 people show up for the game. Should have been more people in the seats. The Stars should have won. 2 Shots off the post and that terrible miss on the penalty.

  3. Luke says:

    Sadly, probably on of the few games I’ll see the Stars play this year since they play out in Blaine. If they had more games at the Dome or even better at TCF Stadium at the Univ. of Minnesota I would definately attend more games.

  4. Air Jordanz says:

    Can anyone comment on The SA Scorpions?

    As a Dynamo fan, I’m interested in how Josue Soto performed?

  5. The Imperative Voice says:

    Notice Gale A. didn’t even see a minute for Clarke’s Carolina squad? After not making a (non-)Olympic U23 defense that was, shallwe say, a bit quality-challenged? I understand he’s “injured” but that was supposedly three months ago.

  6. Rlw2020 says:

    Some more unique jerseys in the nasl compared to mls. Adidas take note!

  7. jimcrist says:

    who cares where they play? carpool with people, find a bike route, drive even! ill come and pick you up! the stadium in blaine (despite its location) is the perfect facility for pro soccer!

    you are saying you’d rather watch the team play on artificial turf with obnoxious pointyball lines than seeing them play at a top notch, internationally known facility?

    this blaine excuse is really starting to wear thin.

    you love the game and want to see it grow in minnesota? you have to attend!

  8. jimcrist says:

    he didnt even make the trip. was enjoying seafood dinners all weekend long.

  9. Will says:

    Hey, Ray Burse. Sweet.

  10. Wojtek says:

    The team was surprisingly well prepared for the game with Silverbacks. The players dwarfed many Atlanta’s players by height and showcased great athletic abilities, demonstrating fantastic endurance (hence no subs for the entire game). Both teams need to shake out the cobwebs after very intense preparation season. Great things to come for both teams!

  11. ericJ says:

    Going to the SA Scorpions Home Opener on Sunday.. already passed 8K tickets sold.. going to be a blast!

  12. pd says:

    With a venue called Hubert Humphrey stadium the retro hep factor alone brought in 2k. Can’t wait for these guys to make it to MLS!

  13. pd says:

    I noticed the TRAFFIC ad boards… How much influence do they have in the league?

  14. What a goal…………….

  15. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Rowdies, by and large, out-played PR. The crap turf didn’t help either. Still, the Rowdies didn’t trouble the PR keeper enough and lacked imagination in the final third. Midfield and defensively there were pretty solid. Just not much creativity up front.

    Rowdies are missing Pascel Millian, tricky winger from last year. He’s moved on to the Irish league.

    The new player, Fafa Picault, is supposed to bring that spark and kraft, but he’s got some kind of turf toe issue going on.

  16. Neal (in St. Pete) says:

    Thanks for the input from the PR game.
    Sucks that Millian is gone…

    Looking forward to home opener on Sat!

  17. yankiboy says:

    Bro, I’m not sure if you are being serious or trying to have someone try and grab some low hanging fruit. If you are being serious and not trying to set up a punch line: Let’s just say that no Traffic, no NASL. That’s how much influence they have.

  18. yankiboy says:

    Matt C: We must have seen a different game. The Rowdies outplayed PR in the first half, I’ll give you that. In the second half, Tampa stalled badly. The goal that Addlery scored was a defensive screw up. Not a good night for the coach Hill or his crew. Great thing is that it was only the first game.

    For PRI, 3 points, especially while playing a man down is always a happy result when you are having an off night. Training at the BSC should be an asset for Islanders.