NASL Rewind: Rayo OKC surges in playoff race

With one week left in the NASL regular season, Rayo OKC, the Oklahoma club that in August changed coaches and had its local ownership pull out, is best poised to claim the fourth playoff spot after a 2-0 win at Ft. Lauderdale.

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 Results
OCTOBER 19
Jacksonville 3 (Eloundou 1, Dixon 69, Scaglia 74) Miami FC 2 (Martinez 27, Farfan 65)
Att.: 1,608
Tampa Bay 2 (Cole 53, 68) Indy Eleven 3 (Lacroix 15, Reinoso 31, Paterson 85)
Att.: 5,348
OCTOBER 22
Ft. Lauderdale 0 Rayo OKC 2 (Ibeagha 50, Pecka 94+)
Att.: 1,071
New York 4 (Arrieta 2, Orozco 7, Arango 30, Orozco 36) Miami FC 0
Att.: 5,852
Carolina 1 (Fondy 51) Minnesota 0
Att.: 8,086
Indy Eleven 3 (Braun 36, Zayed 45, Mares 48+) Puerto Rico 0
Att.: 8,916
Tampa Bay 1 (Hristov 48) Ottawa 1 (Tissot 27)
Att.: 7,641
OCTOBER 23
Edmonton 1 (Fordyce 97+) Jacksonville 0
Att.: 2,705

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)

NASL:
Standings | Schedule

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