NASL Week 2: A Look Back

IndyElevenWeek2 (NASL)

By JOE PANTORNO

Minnesota United and the New York Cosmos remain perfect through two games this season as the North American Soccer League spring season’s schedule slowly begins to take shape.

The defending Soccer Bowl champion Cosmos managed to escape Canada with three points, defeating FC Edmonton 1-0 thanks to a 37th minute strike from Sebastian Guenzatti. The Cosmos have not lost a game since Aug. 17, 2013 — the only loss since the franchise’s rebirth last season.

Minnesota also had their hands full with a Canadian side, needing a 90th minute game-winner from Christian Ramirez to defeat expansion side Ottawa Fury FC.

Ottawa is one of two sides that remain point-less after two rounds of the NASL season. The other being last year’s Spring Season Champions, the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Here is a recap of all the week two action from the NASL:

Ottawa Fury FC 1, Minnesota United 2

Christian Ramirez was the hero of the afternoon with a last-gasp winner despite Minnesota dominating most of the match. With 58 percent of the possession along with five corners compared to Ottawa’s three, Miguel Ibarra’s opener in the 36th minute for Minnesota was canceled out by Vini Dantas’ equalizer for Ottawa.

It was the first goal scored for Ottawa’s new franchise. Minnesota sits in second despite gaining maximum points in their first two games due to its +3 goal differential. League leaders New York are at +5.

Atlanta Silverbacks 1, San Antonio Scorpions 2

Atlanta’s late rally fell short as the Silverbacks join Ottawa as the two remaining sides yet to record a point this season.

Greg Janicki had the away side on top after 34 minutes only to have Shaun Saiko double the lead 12 minutes later. Atlanta was able to pull one back in the 82nd minute, but Junior Sandovals spark was not enough to ignite a draw.

Carolina Railhawks 4, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1

Whatever momentum Fort Lauderdale had built after its week one win against Ottawa was quickly extinguished after a visit to Wakemed Soccer Park as the Railhawks recorded the largest victory of week two.

Pairs of goals from both Enzo Martinez and Zack Schilawski accounted for all of Carolina’s goals as the Railhawks follow up an opening day draw to Indiana with an impressive win. All this despite being out-possessed 51 percent to 49 by the Strikers. The win shoots Carolina up to third in the standings.

Indy Eleven 1, Tampa Bay Rowdies 1

Another week in the NASL, another point for the Indy Eleven in their maiden season.

Last year’s golden boot winner, Brian Shriver put Tampa Bay on top in the 48th minute. The goal was Shriver’s first of the season after he scored 15 with Carolina.

The warm welcome, however, was put on hold when Indy managed to gain another point after Erick Norales scored in the 81st minute. Indy has managed to draw an impressive following through it’s first two games. After a sold-out showing in their opener, over 10,400 came out to see game number two.

FC Edmonton 0, New York Cosmos 1

There might have not been as many fireworks as last week’s 4-0 victory, but three points is three points for the league leading Cosmos as Sebastian Guenzatti’s lone tally proved enough for New York.

The goal was Guenzatti’s second of his Cosmos career.

Narrow margin of victory aside, Edmonton was outperformed for most of the evening, only seeing 44 percent of possession while mustering just one shot on target. Edmonton sits in eighth place with just one point through two weeks.

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What did you think of Week 2 action in NASL? Which team impressed and which team looks to be in for a long season? Who is your player of the week?

Share your thoughts below.

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16 Responses to NASL Week 2: A Look Back

  1. IndyElevenFan says:

    It should be noted that the 10,400 is on the same night that the #1 seeded Indiana Pacers had a home game down the street and the minor league baseball team (also just down the street) also had a home game. It’s a bigger deal than just saying the number when you realize what else was going on in town the same night.

    Real tough test though playing on the road for the next two weeks though. Luckily the team has secured television rights to all the games so us fans can continue to cheer on our boys in blue.

    COY11

    • MattP says:

      Don’t worry, other NASL fans are impressed with 10K in attendance already.

      • Alex Gates says:

        Good to see others in NASL are impressed with our attendance numbers in Indy. The smallest crowd you’ll see all year is 7,000. That’s the total number season tickets sold (which was capped off to allow more common fans to attend games.) It’s great to finally have Professional Soccer back in Indy, and being ran the right way this time, all the way from the ownership group, marketing, the players, the sponsors, and the guy selling beer and hot dogs. Soccer in Indy is here to say and we’re proud to join the other fine NASL clubs. “Our City, Our Time, Forever Indy” COY11

  2. Arnie Q says:

    Wow. Atlanta has turned into a dungheap and trainwreck. Glad they jacked up the parking fees and barred leaving at half time to force us to buy more overpriced concessions. Great timing!

    • David S says:

      Arnie Q, care to elaborate on being barred from leaving at half time?

      • Aaron ATL says:

        New Silverback Park rule this year – no re-entry. I was at the game and it was a great atmosphere despite the loss. Officially a sell-out, but there were empty seats – I’d say about 4,500 in attendance. Parking is $10, but tickets are only $13-15 for GA. Was at an Orlando City match a couple weeks ago and parking was free, but tickets start at $25 – about the same level of attendance there – 4,700. Can’t wait for MLS, but I’ll support NASL until then at least.

      • Samuel L Jackson says:

        No leaving at half time, no bags coming in. Ostensibly for safety, but really because that’s how people got around the overpriced concessions.

        I agree with Arnie that all that sucks, but he forgot to mention the firing of NASL Coach of the Year Brian Haynes who led us to a 3rd place finish in the overall yearlong standings for 2013 in favor of a celebrity TV commentator who doesn’t have time to do the job.

        The front office is really batting 1000 so far, lol.

  3. Matt C says:

    Except for the Carolina match, scoring this weekend was minimal.

    Kudos to the IndXI for the attendance.

    Can’t wait to see my Rowdies back home next week. Hopefully we can score more than one goal in a match.

    • Alex Gates says:

      Thanks for the congrats on attendance in INDY. Two sellouts in a row, and 7,000 season tickets (that were capped off to allow more general fans to attend matches). Looking forward to the spring and fall season ahead. Pretty pleased with the team so far, especially being it it’s first year. We’ve been dying to get professional soccer in Indy for awhile now.

      Great showing by the Rowdies. Great club you guys have. LOTS of speed and slick passers. If only Kleberson’s disgusting free kick had found the back of the net for us….Assuming you saw that haha.

  4. Cesar T says:

    The lone cosmos goal by Guenzatti can’t really be considered a strike. It was, as the Edmonton commentators referred to it – a flick into the goal. I would agree with that comment as well.

    As far as week 2 action was concerned, looks like Minnesota is for real this season and the league should take note. Sensational come from behind victory to spoil Ottawa’s opener! But my one question- why was the Ottawa goal keeper out so much?

    The Cosmos shutout was their 4th straight shut out in NASL play dating back to the 2013 season. The last time they gave up a goal was to San Antonio, they opponent coming up this Saturday.

    ESPN3 has been doing a great job with broadcasting the NASL game of the week. Hope to see that continue. Can’t say the same for the NASL Live feeds- their broadcast of the Cosmos Edmonton match was horrible- hope to see that improve!

  5. Ice says:

    Not too sure the author watched Minnesota-Ottawa. Minnesota dominated the first half, but Ottawa dominated the first 40 minutes of the second half. Saying they dominated most of the match is false.

    • MNNiceFC says:

      Ottawa had 4 shots total and 2 on goal and 42 % possession. Minnesota passed around them for almost the entire match.

  6. Ivan says:

    Looking forward to the Rowdies game this coming Saturday, and hoping for a first win this season.

    COYR!

    • Samuel L Jackson says:

      Seeing as how badly upper management has messed up the Silverbacks, you’ll probably get it.