NASL Week 1: A Look Back

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By DAN KARELL

The 2013 NASL season kicked off this past Saturday with plenty of fanfare but a lack of goals.

The current seven-team spring schedule was highlighted at the weekend with a 1-1 draw between the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and FC Edmonton in Lockhart Stadium. The only match to see goals scored saw the visiting Edmonton squad take the lead in the 15th minute from the head of former Vancouver Whitecaps forward Wes Knight.

The hosts racheted up the pressure in the second half leading to the equalizing goal from the foot of forward David Foley. From the top of the box Foley unleashed a screamer in the 74th minute into the upper 90 that Edmonton goalkeeper Lance Parker could not reach.

Foley nearly had a second goal a few minutes later but his shot in the box went high over the crossbar. Midfielder Shaun Saiko, who provided the assist on Edmonton’s early goal, nearly got one of his own in the 85th minute when his long range drive hit the crossbar, denying the Canadian side a winning goal.

Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 1 action in NASL:

NEW NAME, NO GOALS FOR MINNESOTA UNITED

After a long two months of preseason, the newly minted Minnesota United FC opened up their home schedule at the Metrodome with a goalless draw against the San Antonio Scorpions.

It should have been the United FC debut for new signing Pablo Campos, who scored 20 goals last season for the Scorpions. However, due to a red card dismissal in the last match of last year, he was forced to serve a one-game suspension at the start of this season. Without him, neither side could muster much of an attack.

In addition, an announced crowd of 6,754 fans attended the match in Minneapolis, short of last year’s 8,693 on opening day, adding another disappointment to the United FC front office.

ROWDIES FAIL TO SCORE IN OPENING DRAW WITH RAILHAWKS

The Tampa Bay Rowdies opened their 2013 seasons with 17 shots on the Carolina RailHawks goal, yet they couldn’t find the net as the match finished 0-0 in front of 4,232 fans at Al Lang Stadium.

The defending NASL champions had big performances from midfielders Luke Mulholland and Evans Frimpong, the two combining for nine shots, four of them on target. In fact, if not for RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, the Rowdies would likely have put one in the back of the goal.

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What did you think of the weekend NASL action? Expect the goals to come next week? Do you see Pablo Campos scoring in bunches again, this year for Minnesota?

Share your thoughts below.

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6 Responses to NASL Week 1: A Look Back

  1. slowleftarm says:

    What about the Cosmos? Oh that’s right, instead of actually playing games, they’re going to spend a few more months telling everyone they’re a real New York team even though their stadium is next to some highway in Long Island and reminding everyone that Pele played a few games for them 40 years ago. Clowns!!

    • TomG says:

      It’s very odd to me as well. They have no interest in MLS because the salary cap and single entity ownership model is restrictive to their ultimate goals, but even the best case scenario dictates that it will be 20 years before the Cosmos are big enough to find the current model and cap structure of MLS to be restrictive. By then, the league will have undergone massive changes themselves. They admit NASL won’t rival MLS anytime soon and say that they’re relying on US Open cups to prove their worth. Don’t they understand that no one currently cares about US Open cups? It’s weird. The only way it makes sense is if it’s some kind of bluff. If it’s not, then the management is nuts.

      • Gary says:

        Whoa whoa whoa. There are several thousand folks in Seattle who care about the USOC. I jest (somewhat). But really, I do think it is and should be growing in interest. It’s actually a pretty unique and special tournament.

        Anyway, I subscribe to the “some kind of bluff” theory. As you’ve suggested, it’s the only way it makes some sort of sense.

    • NE Revs says:

      The NASL can rightly be called a mickey mouse at the moment. Embarrassing. The 2014 season can’t get here fast enough.

  2. Matt Privratsky says:

    But the attendance at the MN Stars game last year was bouyed by the tickets only costing 5$. They were full admission this year at $12. For the team, they actually came out ahead of where they did last year in terms of sales. And this shows that those in attendance are people willing to pay full price and possibly then, more likely to be full time supporters.

    • scb says:

      Agreed. And with 5 games at the Metrodome instead of just the opener, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them settle in somewhere between 5-6k for average attendance. That would represent a nice improvement over last year.