San Antonio Scorpions stay top of NASL table

The Texas side remained in pole position with a pair of wins over Carolina and Tampa Bay.
The North American Soccer League (NASL)  #Fight4Fall has kicked into full steam in Week 3, with San Antonio Scorpions - having two matches and earning two victories this week over Carolina and Tampa Bay - five points clear in the Fall Table and two clear for the overall lead in the Combined Table. Atlanta Silverbacks converted a late penalty kick and tied Minnesota United FC 1-1, opening a gap at the top of the Fall Table.

Carolina RailHawks and Tampa Bay Rowdies flipped positions in the Combined Table in The Race for The Championship following the RailHawks victory over Ottawa Fury FC. They are now in the fourth position at the end of this week. Fort Lauderdale Strikers, playing most of the match with ten men, tied New York Cosmos 1-1 to stay close behind for a berth into The Championship.

Wednesday, July 23

Goals from midfielder Rafael Castillo and forward Billy Forbes gave the unbeaten San Antonio Scorpions a 2-0 victory over visiting Carolina RailHawks in front of 7,884 spectators during Wednesday Night Fútbol at Toyota Field.

"I was proud of our second half performance," said Scorpions coach, Alen Marcina. "I think the first half we came out slow, which is not normal for us. But we bounced back at half time and we showed the fans and ourselves the true Scorpions."

Saturday, July 26

The Carolina RailHawks returned to WakeMed Soccer Park and have started a new home-unbeaten streak following their 3-0 victory over the Ottawa Fury FC. Forward Zach Schilawski found the back of the goal twice and Nazmi Albadawi added a goal as the RailHawks victory returns them to fourth place in the NASL Combined Table in the Race for The Championship.

"We put on a great performance tonight," said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke. "Some great passing movement, scored goals and kept a clean sheet which is just as important."

In the NASL Match of the Week, shown on ESPN3, Scorpions extended their NASL unbeaten streak to 9 matches with a 2-0 victory over Tampa Bay Rowdies. The Rowdies gave up an own goal in the 30th minute following a San Antonio corner kick and Sainey Touray added insurance in stoppage time to secure the three points.  

"Definitely deserved the three points," said Scorpions coach, Alen Marcina. "We're excited we got the three points undefeated on the road so we're happy."

Renewing a decades-old rivalry, Fort Lauderdale Strikers welcomed New York Cosmos to Lockhart Stadium and the match ended in hard-fought 1-1 tie. Jemal Johnson headed home a goal from just outside of the 6-yard line in the 6th minute to make it 1-0. Jenison Brito responded with the equalizer for in the 24th minute on a penalty shot earned after Ayoze was booked for a handball inside the penalty area.

"I think that we created the chances and we had the opportunities," said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese. "We just have to be a little bit calmer to finish them up and then we could have controlled the game. We should have put the ball away in those chances that we had."

Günter Kronsteiner, Strikers coach added, "For sure I think this could really help us out for the future. We can really only congratulate everyone who was on the field, they were really hardworking."

The Atlanta Silverbacks and Minnesota United FC played to a 1-1 draw at Atlanta Silverbacks Park with a late Silverbacks penalty kick conversion matching Christian Ramirez's league-leading seventh goal in the 47th minute. The tie extended Minnesota United FC's unbeaten streak to seven matches.

New Silverbacks' coach Jason Smith noted, "I thought we played very well. Should have been a fight, more fight than we had last week so it's something to build on. I like to see better but overall I'm satisfied with a point but I wanted three. I thought it was a great match and a tie is a fair result."

NASL Fall Season Week 3 Result/Schedule­ (All kickoff times US EST)

Wednesday, July 23
San Antonio Scorpions 2
Carolina RailHawks 0

Saturday, July 26
Atlanta Silverbacks  1
Minnesota United FC  1

Tampa Bay Rowdies  0
San Antonio Scorpions  2

Carolina RailHawks  3
Ottawa Fury FC  0

Fort Lauderdale Strikers  1
New York Cosmos  1

Sunday, July 27

FC Edmonton vs. Indy Eleven
Clarke Stadium; Edmonton, Alberta  4 pm