NASL This Weekend

If you missed tonight’s games, this weekend is not over yet! Tomorrow’s game will be broadcast online and on tape delay on Canada’s The Score network.

Carolina Railhawks 5  San Antonio Scorpions 2

The Carolina RailHawks blasted their way to the top of the NASL standings with a 5-2 victory over the San Antonio Scorpions to delight a home crowd of 6,708 that packed in to WakeMed Soccer Park.

Brian Shriver scored twice to lead the NASL in scoring with five goals this season, while Zach Schilawski also found the net twice and keeper Akira Fitzgerald pulled off some spectacular saves in the seven-goal thriller.

“There were a lot of good goals and a lot of great passing and there’s a lot to be happy about,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke.  “It’s a great result and any time you score five goals you’ve got to be pleased, but I don’t like the number two that’s also up on the scoreboard.  We’ve got a good squad of players and we’ll continue to look to improve.”

A stunning Floyd Franks strike from 25 yards out earned the RailHawks the lead in the 13th minute, but the visiting Scorpions were level seven minutes later.  Hans Denisson scored from the penalty spot, sending Akitra Fitzgerald the wrong way after Paul Hamilton had committed a push inside the area.

The hosts regained the lead in the 37th minute when Shriver capitalized on a defensive error, pressurizing Pat Hannigan as he attempted to clear a back pass, and Zach Schilawski pounced to find the empty net.

Three minutes after the break, Shriver scored the RailHawks’ third as Austin Da Luz supplied him with the scoring chance and then with 50 minutes played, Schilawski claimed his second goal of the night with Da Luz again the supplier.

“It’s nice to get that first goal and the pressure is off now,” said Schilawski.  “It’s been a good start and that was the objective going in and so far so good.  We’ve put ourselves in a good spot.

“It’s really fun to play and I think we’ve got a lot of guys who are willing to work off the ball and do the dirty work and make unselfish runs.  We’ve got a lot of different attacking weapons and a good team chemistry.”

Nikola Vaslic pulled San Antonio back into contention when he gathered a rebound after Fitzgerald had parried the ball into his path, but then Scorpions skipper Kevin Harmse was shown a straight red card as he slid into Da Luz.

Fitzgerald was alert to the Scorpions’ refusal to give up home despite being down a man and produced the save of the match after 63 minutes, tipping a fierce drive over his cross bar for a corner and then denied Edin Husic.

Five minutes from time, Shriver wrapped up the scoring, meeting a Brian Ackley cross in front of goal for a simple finish.

Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson said: “We came out and our touch was nervous and they were putting a lot of pressure on us and instead of just playing the ball out we gave the ball away.  Until we stop beating ourselves it’s going to be difficult.”

Ft Lauderdale Strikers 2 Minn United 1

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers claimed their first win of the season and rocked league leaders Minnesota United, knocking them off the top of the NASL standings in the process with a 2-1 win at Lockhart Stadium.

The Strikers climbed off the foot of the table themselves as two goals in the opening quarter of an hour provided decisive despite a nervous ending as ten-man Fort Lauderdale fought off a spirited United comeback attempt.

“We fought hard and we knew they were going to come at us and they threw numbers at us but you’ve got to give our whole team credit,” said Strikers coach Daryl Shore.  “They dug in and this shows we’re capable of doing good things.”

Fort Lauderdale led 2-0 at before play was suspended for 64 minutes due to rain and lightning.

Mark Anderson’s second minute shot crept in off the inside of the far post and then after 14 minutes David Foley pounced on a defensive lapse and doubled the previous winless Strikers’ advantage before the storm closed in.

“We’ve got to do better.  It’s not good enough to compete in this league,” said United FC coach Manny Lagos after seeing his side lose.  “We had our chances but just couldn’t finish.  We didn’t start well.  We have to get back at it, and can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”

Shore made several changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Tampa Bay Rowdies on April 27 as on-loan Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Jeff Attinella replaced the injured Cody Laurendi, while Scott Gordon and Walter Restrepo returned to the starting lineup.

The Strikers were reduced to ten men after 57 minutes when Stephane Guillaume saw red for picking up a second yellow card and the visitors saw their opportunity to strike and produced periods of pressure in the final third of the game.

Pablo Campos scored his first goal since joining Minnesota this season, the 2012 MVP connecting with a far post header in the 69th minute to pull United back into the game.  But the equalizing goal proved elusive and the Strikers held on to win.

FC Edmonton Announces TV Deal with Rogers

FC Edmonton and Rogers have inked a partnership which will see at least six Eddies games live on The Score this NASL season.

FC Edmonton has rapidly become one of Edmonton’s most exciting professional sports franchises, playing to loud and boisterous crowds at least 14 times a year.

Thanks to the newly-signed partnership, The Score will broadcast nine FC Edmonton home games this year, starting May 12 vs. Atlanta and culminating October 27 with a game against Tampa Bay.

“Throughout the club’s first three seasons, FC Edmonton has endeavoured to introduce itself to the Edmonton sports community as a fun and affordable professional entertainment choice,” said general manager Rod Proudfoot. “This new deal with Rogers will further raise the profile of FC Edmonton, our sponsors and our supporters within Edmonton and within the North American Soccer League. And with The Score’s reach, FC Edmonton will now become a more recognizable brand across the country.”

In addition to having the games televised live, City Edmonton has committed to help support the broadcasts with on-air promotional spots, commercials, creative features and local live content.

The Score is Canada’s third-largest specialty sports channel with 6.6 million television subscribers, delivering breaking sports news, analysis, highlights and live events.

City Edmonton offers viewers intensely-local, urban-oriented, culturally-diverse television programming.

Media are invited to Clarke Stadium today where FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath, coaches, players and representatives from the City of Edmonton will be on-hand to unveil the stadium’s new stands and seats, as well as a few other exciting announcements. FC Edmonton’s first team training session runs from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., at which point the media conference will begin.

FC Edmonton on The Score:

May 12 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks (Tape Delay)
May 26 vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers (Possible Tape Delay)
June 2 vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (Possible Tape Delay)
June 16 vs. Carolina RailHawks
June 30 vs. Minnesota United FC
August 11 vs. San Antonio Scorpions
August 18 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
September 1 vs. New York Cosmos
September 15 vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers
September 22 vs. Minnesota United FC
October 6 vs. Carolina RailHawks FC
October 27 vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies