photo courtesy of tlphoto.ca
By FRANCO PANIZO
The race for first place in NASL is heating up, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies are right in the thick of things.
The Rowdies inched one step closer to the top spot in the league standings this past Sunday, picking up a 1-0 victory over FC Edmonton that came courtesy of a late goal and despite them being down to 10 men.
With the game seemingly destined for a scoreless draw, Luke Mulholland broke the hearts of the 1,688 Eddies fans in attendance at Clarke Stadium by scoring for the Rowdies in the 89th minute of the match. The goal was a reward for Tampa Bay, who had gone down a man in the 33rd minute after Tsuyoshi Yoshitake was sent off.
The Rowdies now have 27 points on the season and are jus two behind the first-place San Antonio Scorpions.
Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 15 action in NASL:
SILVERBACKS JUMP OUT OF BASEMENT WITH WIN OVER ISLANDERS
It did not take Eric Wynalda very long to steer the Atlanta Silverbacks out of the NASL dungeon. The Silverbacks won their third match of the season and moved out of last place in the league table by surprisingly defeating the second-place Puerto Rico Islanders, 2-1, in front of a crowd of 4,869 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park on Saturday. Atlanta jumped out to a 2-0 lead after goals from Nico Colaluca and Matt Horth, but the stunned Islanders managed to pull one back late through Gregory Richardson.
SCORPIONS, STRIKERS SPLIT POINTS IN FOUR-GOAL AFFAIR
Andy Herron twice gave the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers the lead, and Pablo Campos responded with a goal for the San Antonio Scorpions each time. The Strikers and Scorpions settled for a 2-2 draw at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night, and the ending of the match was a heartbreaking one for Ft. Lauderdale and and its 5,223 fans in attendance. Herron scored his second of the day in stoppage time and looked to have given the Strikers a big three points over the league leaders. But Campos made sure the Scorpions left South Florida with at least one by netting his second just moments later.
1. San Antonio Scorpions (8-3-5, 29 points, +9 GD)
2. Puerto Rico Islanders (8-5-4, 28 points, +7 GD)
3. Tampa Bay Rowdies (8-6-3, 27 points, +2 GD)
4. Minnesota Stars FC (7-4-5, 26 points,+3 GD)
5. Carolina RailHawks (5-5-6, 21 points, +2 GD)
6. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (5-6-6, 21 points, -4 GD)
7. Atlanta Silverbacks (3-9-5, 14 points, -14 GD)
8. FC Edmonton (3-9-4, 13 points, -5 GD)
What do you think of this weekend's NASL action? Think the Rowdies have what it takes to take first place in the coming weeks? Impressed by what Wynalda has done with the Silverbacks thus far?
Share your thoughts below.