Spaniard Gerard Nus replaced Canadian Alen Marcina at the Rayo OKC helm after the club's management group, Sold Out Strategies, pulled out amid majority owner, Spanish club Rayo Vallecano, announcing its intent to sell its shares. But after Rayo OKC lost four of its first five games under Nus, it went on a nine-game unbeaten streak.
"When you are working hard and know what you are trying to do, sooner or later you get that reward." Nus told The Oklahoman. "The players, they want to move forward and be good professionals. They are achieving great performances and great wins."
Six clubs, Rayo OKC, Minnesota United, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale, Miami FC and Carolina entered Week 17 with a chance to join the New York Cosmos, Indy Eleven and FC Edmonton in the semifinals.
Now only Rayo OKC and Minnesota remain in the running, and a Minnesota loss puts Rayo in the pole position. Rayo has a three-point edge over Minnesota, which needs to beat the New York Cosmos on Saturday and have Rayo to lose to Indy Eleven on Sunday to qualify for the semis.
Fall Season, Week 17
Jacksonville 3 (Eloundou 1, Dixon 69, Scaglia 74) Miami FC 2 (Martinez 27, Farfan 65)
Tampa Bay 2 (Cole 53, 68) Indy Eleven 3 (Lacroix 15, Reinoso 31, Paterson 85)
Ft. Lauderdale 0 Rayo OKC 2 (Ibeagha 50, Pecka 94+)
New York 4 (Arrieta 2, Orozco 7, Arango 30, Orozco 36) Miami FC 0
Carolina 1 (Fondy 51) Minnesota 0
Indy Eleven 3 (Braun 36, Zayed 45, Mares 48+) Puerto Rico 0
Tampa Bay 1 (Hristov 48) Ottawa 1 (Tissot 27)
Edmonton 1 (Fordyce 97+) Jacksonville 0
2016 Leading Scorers:
18 Christian Ramirez (Minnesota)
15 Eamon Zayed (Indy Eleven)
15 Juan Arango (NY Cosmos)
14 Michel (Rayo OKC)
11 Georgi Hristov (Tampa Bay)
9 Dario Cvitanich (Miami)
9 Joe Cole (Tampa Bay)