MIAMI, Fla - The New York Cosmos remain seven points out in front at the top of the North American Soccer League standings and took a big step towards qualifying for NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 win a 4-0 home thrashing of the Carolina RailHawks.
Goals by Danny Szetela, Diomar Diaz, Marcos Senna and Alessandro Noselli mean the Cosmos can earn the right to face the Atlanta Silverbacks for the 2013 NASL championship in Atlanta on November 9 with a win at home to FC Edmonton next Sunday at Hofstra University, kickoff 4pm ET.
“It was from the first minute that the team came out with the right attitude, completely dominated the game and they performed exactly the way we asked them to perform – pressuring, possessing the ball, making the runs, finding the goal early,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese. “I would say so far it was the most complete game we have had this season.”
The Tampa Bay Rowdies remained in contention for a chance to defend the NASL title they won in 2012 with a 2-1 home win over Florida rival the Fort Lauderdale Strikers as Lucky Mkosana and Luke Mulholland found the net.
“It’s fantastic to have three points and once again they haven’t let their heads drop and overall I was delighted with the way the players really wanted to win this game tonight,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill. “All we can try to do is get the nine points that are available, and if New York can keep away from us then good luck to them.”
The NASL Spring Season title winner the Atlanta Silverbacks moved up to third place in the standings with a 3-1 win over Minnesota United FC and could still have a say in who they face in NASL Soccer Bowl 2013.
“We’ve been having those chances all year and we haven’t taken them, so I’m happy that after all our hard work tonight, we got the goals,” said Silverbacks Head Coach Brian Haynes, whose team has not taken its foot off the gas. ”They are professionals and this is their job, which they take seriously. We can’t go into the final limping, so I will be playing the best eleven I have every week.”
If the Silverbacks’ rich vein of form continues and they also add the Fall Season trophy to their haul, the second-placed team with the best record over the course of both NASL 2013 seasons will qualify for Soccer Bowl. That scenario would rule out the Cosmos.
As a result, Minnesota United FC and the Carolina RailHawks, along with the San Antonio Scorpions, who meet FC Edmonton at 2.30pm ET on Sunday at Toyota Field, are still mathematically alive in the race. Defeat for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers ruled them out of both the fall title race and the second-placed option, while FC Edmonton were also eliminated by other results on Saturday night.
NASL Week Results
Saturday, October 12
- New York Cosmos 4 Carolina RailHawks 0: Game Recap
- Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1: Game Recap
- Atlanta Silverbacks 3 Minnesota United FC 1: Game Recap
Sunday, October 6
San Antonio Scorpions vs. FC Edmonton: Toyota Field; San Antonio, Tex. 2:30 pm
|New York Cosmos||11||7||3||1||18||10||24|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||11||4||5||2||24||19||17|
|Minnesota United FC||11||4||2||5||12||13||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||11||4||2||4||19||14||14|
|San Antonio Scorpions||10||2||1||7||12||19||7|
Tiebreakers: 1.) Goal difference 2.) Goals scored 3.) Head-to-head 4.) Away goal difference 5.) Away goals scored