photo courtesy of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers
By FRANCO PANIZO
If the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers are going to move up in the NASL standings and reach the playoffs this season, it appears Mark Anderson will be the player to lead them there.
The Strikers forward netted two more goals on Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium to help Ft. Lauderdale defeat the Carolina RailHawks, 2-1. The RailHawks entered the game undefeated in their last five league fixtures and on a four-game winning streak, but Anderson's brace put an end to that despite Nick Zimmerman pulling one back late for Carolina.
Anderson scored the opener five minutes into the match played in front of 3,506 fans before doubling the hosts' lead in first-half stoppage time. Anderson's two goals gave him seven on the season, which is second to only Pablo Campos of the expansion San Antonio Scorpions.
Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 13 action in NASL:
SCORPIONS ADD TO SILVERBACKS' WOES WITH BIG WIN
The San Antonio Scorpions jumped back into the pole position in the NASL table, and the last-place Atlanta Silverbacks suffered in the process. The Scorpions cruised past the struggling Silverbacks, 3-0, as 11,912 fans turned out to Heroes Stadium to watch San Antonio win on Saturday night. Esteban Bayona scored the winner while Pablo Campos added a second-half brace. The loss was Atlanta's league-leading eighth and it cost head coach Alex Pineda Chacon and Director of Soccer Rodrigo Rios their jobs.
ROWDIES BLANK STARS TO WIN THIRD STRAIGHT
From a results point of view, the Tampa Bay Rowdies are playing their best soccer of the season right now. The Rowdies won a third consecutive game on Saturday night, riding a pair of second-half goals to a 2-0 win over Minnesota Stars FC at Al Lang Stadium. Mike Ambersley netted the winner and Tsuyoshi Yoshitake added an insurance goal late to bring the 2,594 spectators in attendance on their feet.
FC EDMONTON HOLDS ISLANDERS TO SCORELESS DRAW
The Puerto Rico Islanders fell out of first place in the league standings after failing to find the back of the net in a scoreless draw with FC Edmonton on Sunday. The Islanders only tested Eddies goalkeeper Lance Parker twice, but he came up with saves both times to record a cleansheet and get a point in front of a crowd of 1,474 at Clarke Stadium on Canada Day.
1. San Antonio Scorpions (7-2-4, 25 points, +9 GD)
2. Puerto Rico Islanders (7-3-3, 24 points, +11 GD)
3. Tampa Bay Rowdies (6-5-3, 21 points, 0 GD)
4. Minnesota Stars FC (5-3-5, 20 points, 0 GD)
5. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (5-5-4, 19 points, -2 GD)
6. Carolina RailHawks (4-5-5, 17 points, +1 GD)
7. FC Edmonton (3-7-3, 12 points, -3 GD)
8. Atlanta Silverbacks (1-8-5, 8 points, -16 GD)
What do you think of this weekend's NASL action? Impressed by Anderson's scoring streak? Agree with the Silverbacks' decision to fire their Pineda Chacon? How many more consecutive wins do you see the Rowdies picking up?
Share your thoughts below.