NASL Week 6: A Look Back

San Antonio Scorpions at Railhawks 2013

By MIKE GRAMAJO

Brian Shriver’s brace for the Carolina RailHawks insured them a 5-2 victory on Saturday against the San Antonio Scorpions and a three point clearance atop the NASL table.

FC Edmonton continued their recent fine form of the season, beating the Atlanta Silverbacks on Sunday night, 3-0, at Clark Stadium. Michael Cox bagged a double while Daryl Fordyce also got on the scoresheet to lead the Eddies to a second-straight home win against a depleted Silverbacks squad that went down to 10-men early in the game.

The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers picked up their first win of the season, upsetting an unbeaten Minnesota United side that looked to carry their momentum into Lockhart Stadium on Saturday. Midfielder Mark Anderson and forward David Foley provided two pivotal goals for the Strikers to give them a much-needed three points.

Here’s more on what else happened in Week 6 in the North American Soccer League:

RAILHAWKS WIN SEVEN-GOAL THRILLER AGAINST SCORPIONS 

The RailHawks, who remain the only team unbeaten this season, downed the Scorpions 5-2 on Saturday along with a brace from Brian Shiver that puts him with a league-leading five goals for the spring campaign.

The Scorpions, who have yet to taste victory this season, sit at the bottom of table despite finishing last year as regular season champions.

Floyd Franks opened up the scoring for the RailHawks 13 minutes into the game, however, Hans Denissen leveled the score for the Scorpions moments later. The Carolina side would score three answered goals within a span of 11 minutes, only for Nikola Vasilic to score a consolation goal for the Scorpions in the 64th minute.

Brian Shriver scored his second goal of the match in the 85th minute, while former DC United midfield Austin da Luz provided two assists to keep the RailHawks unbeaten so far this season.

Up next, the Scorpions look to taste victory for the first time this season when they welcome the Strikers on Saturday. While the RailHawks pay a visit to the Silverbacks at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.

EDDIES LEAP-FROG OVER SILVERBACKS 

FC Edmonton continued their recent fine form on Sunday night, thrashing the Atlanta Silverbacks 3-0 at Clarke Stadium. The win earns the Eddies a second straight victory at home and eight points in the NASL table.

“I wanted to get a good result here and move up the league and I want the players to learn to be absolutely ruthless,” said Edmonton coach Colin Miller.

The Silverbacks entered the game looking to avoid a third straight winless-streak after beating the Rowdies 4-3 late in April.

Daryl Fordyce opened up the deadlock in the 41st minute, heading in a Lance Laing cross to make it 1-0 Edmonton. Michael Cox doubled the Eddies’ lead right before halftime, only to bag his brace and triple the lead for Edmonton when he scored a bicycle kick goal in the 50th minute.

“We played like it was Christmas and not Mother’s Day,” Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes told NASL.com. “It’s difficult to play against a team that is hungry when you’re playing against each other because there’s been more arguing than there has passing out there today.”

FC Edmonton take a bye-week next week, but look to get their momentum rolling again when they host the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers on May 26. The Silverbacks host an unbeaten RailHawks squad next week.

STRIKERS CLINCH FIRST VICTORY 

The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers picked up their first win of the season, defeating Minnesota United FC 2-1 on Saturday at Lockhart Stadium.

The Strikers wasted no time in scoring, as Mark Anderson drilled a shot outside the 18-yard-line to give Ft. Lauderdale an early lead in the second minute. Moments later, David Foley doubled the lead after the forward chased a long ball from Manuel Gonzalez which beat United goalkeeper Daryl Sattler in the 14th minute.

“We fought hard and we knew they were going to come at us and they threw numbers at us but you’ve got to give our whole team credit,” said Strikers coach Daryl Shore. “They dug in and this shows we’re capable of doing good things.”

Pablo Campos’ 69th minute header pulled one back for Minnesota, but it wasn’t enough as their sluggish start lifted the Strikers to a first victory.

SBI NASL POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 6)

  1. Carolina RailHawks – The RailHawks kept the ball rolling and saw them remain unbeaten in their first five matches.
  2. Minnesota United FC – One shocking loss against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers saw United pickup their first loss of the season.
  3. FC Edmonton – A bad start to the season was probably what the Eddies needed to turn things around. The Eddies are four-games unbeaten in NASL play with their last loss occurring in April.
  4. Tampa Bay Rowdies – The Rowdies have yet to win at home and a draw last week against Edmonton hindered them a quite bit. Maybe this bye-week was needed to build some momentum when they visit Minnesota on Saturday.
  5. Atlanta Silverbacks – Going three-games winless has hurt the Silverbacks and they face a big test next week when they host top-of-the-table Carolina RailHawks on Saturday.
  6. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers – A first win of the season was something the Strikers needed to build momentum on. Let’s see how they fare against a winless San Antonio side next week.
  7. San Antonio Scorpions – Things have not gone accordingly for the 2012 regular season champions, especially since opening Toyota Park this season. They welcome in the Strikers, maybe a first win at home could boost them up.
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