Jacksonville Sports Day

NASL: Carolina Visits New York Looking To End Cosmos’ Home Unbeaten Streak; Armada Home

NEW YORK – The standings remained the same after Ottawa Fury FC and the New York Cosmos settled for a hard-fought draw in a match between the league’s top two sides on Wednesday. With neither side picking up breathing room, the race to The Championship remains extremely close.

In Week 9, Ottawa hosts a struggling Tampa Bay Rowdies side to kick off Saturday’s matches at 7:00 p.m. ET. 

Three matches will then get underway at 7:30 when the Atlanta Silverbacks host an FC Edmonton side that is looking to rebound from a tough result a weekend ago, while the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Indy Eleven aim to build momentum – and their unbeaten runs – from Lockhart Stadium. 

Jackonville Armada FC hosts the San Antonio Scorpions in a rematch of last weekend’s action, which San Antonio won, 1-0.

In the lone Sunday match, the New York Cosmos can continue its dominant run of form at home when they host the Carolina RailHawks.

A full match preview of all the action is below:

Jacksonville Armada FC vs. San Antonio Scorpions
7:30 p.m. ET | Saturday, August 29
Community First Park | Jacksonville, Fla.
Watch | ESPN3 (National – U.S.), NASL.com (National – Canada), CW17 (Local – Jacksonville), KSAT 12.2 MeTV (Local – San Antonio)

The Armada FC host the Scorpions after visiting San Antonio last weekend. In a tough match, Jacksonville (3-1-5, 10 points) ultimately fell, 1-0. At home, however, is where the Armada FC has had its best performances and will look to replicate a 2-1 victory in the Spring Season in the upcoming clash.

The Scorpions (2-2-4, 8 points), the league’s defending champions, are looking to gain momentum to make a push towards The Championship. Currently sitting either near the bottom (Fall Season Standings) or at the bottom (Combined Standings), San Antonio is still in the thick of the race if the club can string a few results together. While Omar Cummings has earned plaudits for his 10 goals this season, Billy Forbes continues to be the attack’s heartbeat, coming off the bench to score the game-winning goal against Jacksonville.

Ottawa Fury FC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
7:00 p.m. ET | Saturday, August 29
TD Place | Ottawa, Ontario
Watch | ESPN3 (National – U.S.), Rogers TV (Local – Ottawa)

Ottawa is coming off a midweek test against the New York Cosmos that ended in a 0-0 draw. Fury FC (6W-2D-1L, 20 points) has only suffered one loss in its last 14 games as the club pushes not just for a Spring Season title, but the top seed in The Championship. Built on a strong defense, Ottawa limited the Cosmos, and will want to do the same with the Rowdies coming to town.

As well as Fury FC has played over the course of the Fall Season, the Rowdies (2-1-6, 7 points) have been struggling. After a 3-1 loss to Minnesota United in Tampa Bay last weekend, the Rowdies will hope to change their fortunes on the road. While still sitting in a place that will earn them a place in the postseason, the Rowdies are feeling the pressure from the teams below them and will need to start putting together a string of results under newly named head coach Stuart Campbell.

Atlanta Silverbacks vs. FC Edmonton
7:30 p.m. ET | Saturday, August 29
Atlanta Silverbacks Park | Atlanta Ga.
Watch | ESPN3 (National – U.S.), FCEdmonton.com (National – Canada)

The Silverbacks (4-3-3, 15 points) went into Edmonton earlier in the Fall Season and picked up a 3-1 win, and Atlanta will want nothing less than three points when hosting the Eddies. With both sides sitting on 15 points in the Fall Season Standings, it’s a crucial match for building momentum towards a place in The Championship. Jaime Chavez continues to play a key role, forcing an own goal last weekend to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Indy Eleven.

The Eddies (4-3-3, 15 points) are coming off a disappointing performance against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Colin Miller’s side needs to rebound at Silverbacks Park. The road hasn’t been difficult for the Eddies to maneuver in the Fall Season as they’ve yet to lose on their travels. The combination of Tomi Ameobi and Lance Laing is always dangerous and will test the Silverbacks’ back line – and will be an even more difficult task with the absence of defensive stalwart Simon Mensing, who is serving a one-game suspension for a red card last weekend.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Indy Eleven
7:30 p.m. ET | Saturday, August 29
Lockhart Stadium | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Watch | ESPN3 (National – U.S.), NASL.com (National – Canada), SFL-TV (Local – Fort Lauderdale)

The Strikers (3-4-2, 13 points) can pick up a third win in a row, and fourth unbeaten overall, with a strong performance when hosting Indy. The side should be full of confidence, especially after putting in a strong shift at Clarke Field a weekend ago. Stefano Pinho has been in a starring role for Fort Lauderdale, and the young Brazilian has nine goals to date in the season – one shy of the league leader, Omar Cummings.

Indy, after going winless in a five-match stretch, is unbeaten in its last two. Dane Richards is finding his form after scoring in two consecutive matches, helping the Boys in Blue (2-3-4, 9 points) to a 2-0 victory last Wednesday and a 1-1 draw against the Silverbacks. The Eleven will be without a key player, though, as Erick Norales serves a one-game suspension after picking up a red card last weekend.

New York Cosmos vs. Carolina RailHawks
4:00 p.m. ET | Sunday, August 30
Shuart Stadium | Hempstead, N.Y.
Watch | ONE World Sports (National – U.S.), WRAL2 (Local – Cary/Raleigh)

After shaking off a previous tough run of form at WakeMed Soccer Park this season – a 3-3 draw and a 3-1 win in 2015 – the Cosmos (4-4-1, 16 points) still have one more score to settle. The RailHawks are the last side to beat New York at home, which came in a 1-0 victory back on August 2, 2014. Since then, the Cosmos have gone on a stretch of 16 games unbeaten when playing in New York. The club is also on a seven-game unbeaten streak in the Fall Season.

The RailHawks (2-2-5, 8 points), however, have hit a rough patch losing their last three matches and conceding three goals in each. After having an off week, Carolina should be rested when it visits a Cosmos side that is playing their third match in a nine-day stretch. Nacho Novo, the team’s leading goalscorer, will need to test New York’s back line and get back to his scoring ways to help pull out a result on the road. 

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