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Split season kicks off with nine-game spring championship
December 20th, 2013 12:32AM

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[NASL 2014 COUNTDOWN] The NASL will kick off its nine-game spring season on April 12. The shortened season, which will run through June 8 and allow for a midseason break during the World Cup, will mark the debuts of Indy Eleven and the Ottawa Fury. The season was scheduled to be 10 games, but Virginia Cavalry FC deferred its launch until 2015, meaning the 10 clubs participating in 2014 must each play a nine-game season.

The fall campaign will consist of 18 games. In the first year of split-season play, teams played 12 and 14 games. The New York Cosmos debuted and won the fall title -- as well as Soccer Bowl 2013.

The winner of the first half of the NASL season will qualify for and earn the right to host NASL Soccer Bowl 2014.

"The owners showed short-term sacrifice in favor of consistency and respect for the global game by sticking to a one-match vs. each team Spring Schedule," said Aaron Davidson, chairman of the NASL board of governors and president of Traffic Sports, ownership group of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Carolina RailHawks. "We analyzed and understand the consequential imbalance of home games in the spring, but felt that it was more important to ensure the balance of the competition with everyone playing each other once rather than adding a random 10th match." 

The first year of split-season was a mixed bag in terms of drama. The spring season went down until the final day on July 4 with three teams contending for the title won by the Atlanta Silverbacks. The Cosmos ran way with the fall crown, however.

NASL Spring Schedule:

Saturday, April 12
Fort Lauderdale vs. Ottawa 
Indy Eleven vs. Carolina
San Antonio vs. Minn. United
Tampa Bay vs. FC Edmonton
Sunday, April 13
New York vs. Atlanta
Saturday, April 19
Atlanta vs. San Antonio
Carolina vs. Fort Lauderdale
FC Edmonton vs. New York
Indy Eleven vs. Tampa Bay
Ottawa  vs. Minn. United
Saturday, April 26
New York vs. San Antonio
Fort Lauderdale vs. Indy Eleven
Minn. United vs. FC Edmonton
Ottawa  vs. Carolina
Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta
Saturday, May 3
Atlanta vs. Ottawa 
Carolina vs. New York
FC Edmonton vs. Fort Lauderdale
Minn. United vs. Indy Eleven
San Antonio vs. Tampa Bay
Saturday, May 10
Fort Lauderdale vs. Atlanta
Indy Eleven vs. FC Edmonton
Ottawa  vs. Tampa Bay
San Antonio vs. Carolina
Monday, May 12
New York vs. Minn. United
Saturday, May 17
Carolina vs. Atlanta
Indy Eleven vs. Ottawa 
Minn. United vs. Fort Lauderdale
San Antonio vs. FC Edmonton
Tampa Bay vs. New York
Saturday, May 24
FC Edmonton vs. Atlanta
Minn. United vs. Carolina
New York vs. Indy Eleven
Ottawa Fury vs. San Antonio
Tampa Bay vs. Fort Lauderdale
Saturday, May 31
Atlanta vs. Minn. United
Carolina vs. Tampa Bay
Fort Lauderdale vs. New York
Indy Eleven vs. San Antonio
Ottawa  vs. FC Edmonton
Saturday, June 7
Atlanta vs. Indy Eleven
San Antonio vs. Fort Lauderdale
Tampa Bay vs. Minn. United
Sunday, June 8
FC Edmonton vs. Carolina
New York vs. Ottawa

ROWDIES RE-SIGN FOUR. The Tampa Bay Rowdies exercised contract options for midfielders Evan Frimpong, Kyle Clinton and Keith Savage, and defender Jordan Gafa for the 2014 season.  Defender Jay Needham and forward Amani Walker are already under contract with the Rowdies through 2014.


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