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.
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.