Soccer MPR — May 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Week 6: Cosmos vs. Rowdies


Image Credit: Daniel Budasoff

NEW YORK, NY  - With four weeks remaining, all 10 clubs are still in contention for the in the 2014 North American Soccer League Spring Season Championship.  The Week 6 encounters are highlighted by an old NASL rivalry dating back almost four decades, when the defending champion New York Cosmos travel to take on Tampa Bay Rowdies in this week’s NASL ‘Match of the Week’ broadcast live on ESPN3 on Saturday, May 17 at 7:30 pm ET.

ESPN’s live, multi-screen sports network is accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

Soccer fans around the world will also be able to ‘Watch Every Match Live’ throughout the 2014 North American Soccer League season including Week 6 venues of May 17in Carolina, Indy, Minnesota, San Antonio and Tampa Bay at  The NASL extended the free subscription for this service through the remainder of the Spring Season.

Teams that continued their rivalry in the NASL’s modern era has the New York Cosmos (third-place) - Tampa Bay Rowdies (sixth) separated by just three points in 2014 Spring Standings.

“It’s a throwback to the ’70s and ’80s when we had a tremendous rivalry and soccer was blossoming in the states,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill on the NASL Match of the Week.  “It’s back to that now where we’re one of the major sports in the country.  There’s a lot of tradition between the Rowdies and Cosmos, so the beauty of being on ESPN3 is that the country gets to watch us again.”

Both clubs met twice in 2013, with the first encounter ending in a scoreless draw at Al Lang Stadium, however, the Cosmos won second match, 4-3, at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium last September.  New York came back from a 3-1 deficit and scored three times in the final 27 minutes for the victory.

Cosmos ended a two-game losing streak last week with a 1-0 win over visiting Minnesota United FC, while the Rowdies played to a 1-1 draw at Ottawa Fury FC.

“They’re the reigning champions,” Hill added.  “We’ve not amassed as many points as we would have liked to. We’re also aware that at Al Lang, we’ve given our fans something to cheer about and they’ve been tremendous as always, but we haven’t been able to go across the line and get all three points.

“This Saturday is an opportunity to play a side with more points than us at the moment. It should be fantastic.”

Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese commented on the upcoming encounter against Rowdies: “We took a lot of positives from the Minnesota match but we are still focusing on continuing to improve the team and making sure we can keep growing and growing as we get ready for Tampa.”

Image Credit: NASL

Saturday’s NASL Spring Week 6 also has an unbeaten streak on the line as Carolina RailHawks look to extend their 18 consecutive home games without a loss when they host Atlanta Silverbacks at WakeMed Soccer Park at 7:30 pm ET, with the encounter shown locally live on WRAL2 and radio on 99.9HD-3 The Ticket.

RailHawks, currently fifth in the standings, are just a point ahead of Atlanta, have only lost once to the Silverbacks in 12 regular season encounters including an unbeaten record in the Triangle.

“Our team is currently in the middle of a rollercoaster ride, and I sure hope that this is the low point,” said Silverbacks technical director, Eric Wynalda.  “It’s always very difficult to pick up points in Carolina - it’s a very tough task. I’ve known Colin Clarke for a long time, and I’m anticipating a fantastic challenge because both teams are coming off games that they need to bounce back from. If either one of us has aspirations to win the Spring Season, then this is an absolute must-win.”

For the first time since 2011, two of the newest league teams face-off in NASL play when Ottawa Fury FC visits Indy Eleven at IUPUI’s Michael A. Carrol Stadium, with the encounter shown locally live on MyINDY TV-23.

Fury FC are looking for their first road victory of the Spring Campaign, while Indy Eleven is searching for its inaugural NASL win.

“We want to come out in front of our crowd this week and give them a reward for their support in the form of three points,” said Indy Eleven coach Juergen Sommer.  “Ottawa is coming off a good result against Tampa Bay and has a very talented group, so we’ll be in for another tough matchup on Saturday.”

Perhaps the marquee match-up on Saturday, will be a battle for sole possession of first-place when Minnesota United welcomes Fort Lauderdale Strikers at NSC Stadium, broadcasted locally on KSTC-45.

United holds a slight lead in the head-to-head series and have won three of the last four encounters against the Strikers.  However, with both teams currently leveled on points (12), Fort Lauderdale has the advantage in the standings on goal difference heading into the match-up against Minnesota.

“Minnesota is very organized and well coached; I’m very impressed with their team,” said Strikers coach Günter Kronsteiner.  “It’s going to be a tough match-up, especially playing in Minnesota.  Our guys are playing with a lot of confidence right now.  We just need to make sure we stay focused and continue to work well together, and try to come back with some points.”

Rounding out Week 6 encounters will be FC Edmonton traveling to take on fourth-place San Antonio Scorpions at Toyota Field at 8:30 pm ET (7:30 pm CT), live locally on MeTV KSAT 12.2.

Following its midweek participation at the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship, Edmonton will be playing its third game in eight days, while San Antonio has won three of its last for matches.  Scorpions hold a perfect 4-0-0 record against the Eddies at Toyota Field.

“Edmonton is a tough, athletic and highly disciplined side coming off a couple of positive results,” said Scorpions coach Alen Marcina.  “We aim to continue building momentum from the performance against Carolina and continue displaying the expressive, attacking style of play that embodies the passion of our supporters and team.”

FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller on his upcoming encounter at San Antonio:  “It will be a difficult game for us there, in the heat and it will also be our eighth game in four weeks. San Antonio have had some good results, but we managed our first road result last weekend and hopefully we can carry that over. San Antonio have a great set up so hopefully we’ll be able to play well.”


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