Jacksonville Sports Day

NASL: Miami FC On Brink Of Spring Season Title Going Into Week 15 Action

NEW YORK – The North American Soccer League (NASL) Spring Season has hit the home stretch, and red-hot Miami FC is on the verge of claiming its first piece of silverware in club history. The club, which enters the weekend with a seven-point advantage atop the table, will pay a visit to North Carolina FC on the Fourth of July.

Before that clash kicks off on Tuesday, Jacksonville Armada FC and the San Francisco Deltas will look to stay in the hunt behind the league leaders. Jacksonville welcomes FC Edmonton to Hodges Stadium on Saturday night, while the Deltas will be in action the following night against visiting Puerto Rico FC.

The other contest in Week 15 is a rematch of The Championship Final from a year ago. The New York Cosmos square off with Indy Eleven at MCU Park in a matchup that will also take place on July 4. It will be the first meeting between the sides in 2017.

A preview of each Week 15 matchup is below:

Jacksonville Armada FC vs. FC Edmonton
7 p.m. ET | Saturday, July 1
Hodges Stadium | Jacksonville, Fla.
Jacksonville Armada FC returns to the field after having its Week 14 clash postponed due to inclement weather. Armada FC will be itching to get back into games after losing its last contest, 4-0, to Miami FC. Jacksonville still has an ever-so-slim chance at claiming the Spring Season title, and needs to pick up three points against FC Edmonton. Jacksonville defeated the Eddies twice this season – both 1-0 results.

Last weekend, the Eddies were unable to get past the Deltas, losing for a third time to San Francisco, 1-0. Stellar goalkeeping by Nathan Ingham kept the Canadian side in the game, but the club was unable to find the breakthrough after conceding an early own goal. In the past two games – both losses to San Francisco – the Eddies have shown an ability to create chances. Colin Miller’s side just needs to start converting them in order to build confidence and momentum heading into the Fall Season.

San Francisco Deltas vs. Puerto Rico FC
8:30 p.m. ET | Sunday, July 2
Kezar Stadium | San Francisco, Calif.
San Francisco extended its road unbeaten streak to seven games after defeating FC Edmonton at Clarke Stadium last weekend. Included in that run was arguably the Deltas’ best performance of the year – a 3-1 victory over Puerto Rico FC. Kyle Bekker scored twice in that win and it was his corner kick that led to the own goal in the win against Edmonton in Week 14. San Francisco, which sits seven points behind Miami FC, will look to add pressure to the league leaders who will be in action on Tuesday.

Puerto Rico FC has gotten an extended break after its clash with Jacksonville, originally scheduled for Sunday, was postponed until a later date in July. The club is looking to rebound after its last time on the field, which resulted in a 4-2 loss to the New York Cosmos. Honduran international Jairo Puerto has been hot of late, scoring three goals and adding an assist in his last three games.

New York Cosmos vs. Indy Eleven
7:30 p.m. ET | Tuesday, July 4
MCU Park | Brooklyn, N.Y.
The New York Cosmos are coming off a tough 2-1 loss to Miami FC – a result that evaporated their Spring Season title chances. Emmanuel Ledesma, after returning from injury, continues to shine. He has scored in his past two games for the club. New York’s depth, though, will be tested at the tail end of the Spring Season with four players – Andrés Flores, Irvin Herrera, Richard Menjivar, and Dejan Jaković – away on international duty. Several other players, including captain Carlos Mendes, are nursing injuries. New York defeated Indy Eleven in a penalty shootout to lift the Soccer Bowl Trophy a year ago.

Indy heads into this weekend’s clash looking for some revenge after the loss in 2016, but it will also be hoping to maintain its recent momentum. The club has won back-to-back games – both coming against North Carolina FC. The side has received boosts from key players finding their health and form in recent weeks. Forwards Eamon Zayed and Justin Braun were both on target in the club’s recent win.

North Carolina FC vs. Miami FC
7:30 p.m. ET | Tuesday, July 4
Sahlen’s Stadium | Cary, N.C.
North Carolina FC has lost its last two games, and is winless in its last six games overall. Tiyi Shipalane scored quickly for North Carolina in last weekend’s encounter against Indy, but the club conceded twice in quick succession shortly thereafter. The club may have conceded more, but goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, who is leading the NASL in saves with 59, played well once again.

Miami FC has been in stellar form, currently stretching an unbeaten streak in all competitions to 14 games. The club took down Atlanta United of Major League Soccer, 3-2, on Kwadwo Poku’s 93rd-minute winner in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In Miami’s last action in NASL play, the club defeated the only side it has lost to: the New York Cosmos. Miami overturned an early deficit, with Vincenzo Rennella and Stéfano Pinho once again putting their names on the scoresheet. Miami is now closing in on the Spring title after a last-place finish in the Spring Season table just a year ago.

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