[NASL: Week 8]
The race for the NASL sprint title will go to the final weekend with three teams still in contention. Minnesota United FC is in the driver's seat,
holding a three-point lead over the New York Cosmos and San Antonio Scorpions and needing just a point at Tampa Bay to clinch the title.
For Minnesota United, which kept control of
its own destiny with a 2-1 win at Atlanta thanks to a goal and assist from the league's top scorer, Christian Ramirez
, it has multiple routes to the title. It
clinches with a win or tie or if the Cosmos and Scorpions lose or tie. It could also clinch if the Scorpions won but couldn't make up their three-goal deficit in goal differential.
"I was really proud how we got the ball in the corner for some good crosses and good finishes," said Minnesota coach Manny Lagos
after the win at Atlanta. "It
was a battle tonight I thought both teams really put it in and Atlanta came at us and again its not easy to play on the road in this league. To get three points at this pivotal period is key."
A second-half surge from the Cosmos propelled them to a 3-0 victory at the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, eliminating the Strikers from the spring season title race. Mads Stokkelien
earned and converted a penalty kick to open the scoring while late strikes from Joseph Nane
and Danny Szetela
clinched the New York win.
Indy Eleven enjoyed its fifth sellout in five games at Michael A. Carroll Stadium but it still looking for its first win
after a 2-1 loss to San Antonio. The game was tied until the fourth minute of stoppage time when Walter Restrepo
got the winner for the Scorpions.
"Obviously we are very happy that we got the result," said Scorpions coach Alen Marcina
. "I thought we could have put them away a bit earlier. Hats off to Indy
for putting us on our heals through their play. It was a well deserved victory."
-- The Carolina RailHawks beat Tampa Bay, 2-0, before a record crowd of 7,856 fans at WakeMed Soccer
Park, extending their home-unbeaten streak to 21 matches. NASL WEEK 8, Schedule: Saturday May 31
Ottawa 1 FC Edmonton 0
Atlanta 1 Minn. United 2
Carolina 2 Tampa Bay 0
Ft. Lauderdale 0 New York 3
Indy Eleven 1 San Antonio 2 NASL Spring Standings: PTS TEAM W-L-T
19 Minn. United 6-1-1 13/6
16 New York 5-2-1 13/3
16 San Antonio 5-2-1 11/7
14 Carolina 4-2-2 10/9
12 Ft. Lauderdale 4-4-0 16/16
10 Ottawa 3-4-1
9 Tampa Bay 2-3-3 8/13
9 Atlanta 3-5-0 9/17
5 FC Edmonton 1-5-2 5/10
3 Indy Eleven 0-5-3 11/17 NASL WEEK 9, Schedule: Saturday, June 7
7:30 pm ET
Atlanta vs. Indy Eleven
Tampa Bay vs. Minn. United 8:30 pm ET
San Antonio vs. Ft. Lauderdale Sunday, June 8 4 pm ET
FC Edmonton vs. Carolina 5 pm ET
New York vs. Ottawa