NASL’S FINAL WEEK
Lots to Play for in NASL’s Final Week
(Atlanta – GA / By Glenn Boylan)
Heading to the final week of the NASL Fall Season, several teams have a lot to play for as the final spot and seedings for The Championship playoffs are still at stake.
Three teams have clinched spots in The Championship: Minnesota United FC, the San Antonio Scorpions, and the NY Cosmos. Minnesota and San Antonio have clinched the #1 and #2 seeds, and the Cosmos are almost a lock for the #3 seed.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers are currently in the fourth and final playoff position, but they have just a two-point lead over the Carolina RailHawks. With a win or a tie Saturday at home against the Ottawa Fury, the Strikers would likely clinch the spot, as they currently have a 6 goal lead over Carolina in Goal Differential, which is the first tie breaker. Carolina must win Saturday in their home game against Minnesota United, and hope Fort Lauderdale loses.
Fall Season Championship
Carolina should be facing an inspired Minnesota United team in that game. Minnesota, the Spring Season champions, are currently in first place in the Fall Season and would like to take home both trophies this year. But their lead is only two points over San Antonio, who kept their Fall Season championship hopes alive with a vital 1-0 win over MUFC last week.
San Antonio’s final game, at home against the NY Cosmos, will be very interesting. Obviously, the Scorpions will want to win to try to wrest the Fall Season away from MUFC. But the game will also be a preview of The Championship semi-final that they will play against the Cosmos just one week later.
The Cosmos were in the same situation last season when they played the Atlanta Silverbacks in the final regular season game, and then faced them again one week later in the 2013 Soccer Bowl. It will be interesting to see how the Scorpions and Cosmos approach the game.