Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 27

The New York Cosmos won on the road to move seven points clear with four games remaining in the Fall campaign, making themselves strong favorites to reach the NASL Soccer Bowl in Atlanta in their first season on the field. New York leads a pack of five teams - four tied for second seven back, and Atlanta, which is eight back. Among the foursome is Carolina, which visits New York next week, and Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Fort Lauderdale.


In a week in which every game was decided by one goal, the Cosmos picked up the road 1-0 victory over Minnesota in the 53rd minute when Stefan Dimitrov found Paulo Mendes for the winner. The one-loss Cosmos are now unbeaten in the last seven games (5-0-2).

Fort Lauderdale joined the group of teams tied for second by handing Florida foe Tampa Bay a 2-1 defeat. The Strikers grabbed the lead 22 minutes in when Martin Nunez scored on a ball crossed in from Carlos Salazar and maintained the advantage by keeping the highest scoring club in the Fall season - by a wide margin - off the board until stoppage time. With six minutes left Fort Lauderdale netted an important insurance strike when Paulo Junior found FC Dallas loanee Bradlee Baladez for what proved to be the winner when Frankie Sanfilippo set up Carl Cort four minutes into stoppage time.

Already meaningless with New York winning about a half-hour prior to its final whistle, San Antonio picked up their second win of the Fall campaign against Soccer Bowl host Atlanta, 1-0. San Antonio, who are already eliminated and won't be making another surprising late title contending run, got the winner in the 64th minute when a Walter Ramirez corner found the head of Tomasz Zahorski.

On Sunday, the RailHawks' hopes of keeping pace with New York took a major hit when they fell in Edmonton, leaving them with just one win in their last six (1-4-1). The Eddies snapped their seven-game winless run (0-2-5) with a 2-1 victory on a pair of goals from Daryl Fordyce. He headed in  a flicked-on throw-in for the opener in the 31st and put away a low cross from Eddie Edward on the hour mark.

SATURDAY, October 5

New York Cosmos 1 :: 0 Minnesota United
NY: Paulo Mendes (Stefan Dimitrov) 53

Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 :: 2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
FTL: Martin Nunez (Carlos Salazar) 22, Bradlee Baladez (Paulo Jr) 84
TB: Carl Cort (Frankie Sanfilippo 94+

Atlanta Silverbacks 0 :: 1 San Antonio Scorpions
SA: Tomasz Zahorski (Walter Ramirez) 64

SUNDAY, October 6

Carolina RailHawks 1 :: 2 FC Edmonton 
EDM: Daryl Fordyce (Albert Watson) 31, Daryl Fordyce (Eddie Edward) 60
CAR: Paul Hamilton (Kenny Walker) 75


On Monday, it was a good day for the road sides as Columbus and San Jose both tallied three goals away from home for wins.

FC Dallas had the initial lead 27 minutes in against Columbus when Kenny Cooper deflected a clearance to Danny Garcia, who slipped it into the goal, and nearly went up two when Cooper was fouled in the box and Garcia stepped to the spot only to see Andy Gruenebaum come up with the save. Ryan Finley propelled Columbus in the rally, scoring four minutes into the second half on a play started by a short corner, and adding the second in the 70th on another set piece, burying a first-time volley off a lengthy free kick from Kyle Hyland. Aaron Horton made a great individual play to cap the game, stealing the ball with five minutes left and beating a defender before finding the goal.

Similarly, Chivas USA held the lead against the visitors, taking the lead twice before falling. Matt Fondy headed a Jose Manual Rivera free kick home three minutes in only to see Mike Fucito equalize for the Earthquakes three minutes later. Rivera put the hosts back in front a minute into the second half with a chip over the keeper but an own goal off a Fucito cross evened terms quickly again five minutes later. In the 65th a deflected ball fell to Jarad Vanschaik for the win.

Things were completely different in Houston Saturday as a one-goal affair played out, though the victory mirrored the same 1-0 result the Dynamo posted against Montreal in MLS play. Cam Weaver scored the first half tally a minute before the break on a low cross from Omar Cummings, who was sent into the area on a ball from Joe Dixon.

MONDAY, September 30

Columbus Crew 3 :: 1 FC Dallas 
DAL: Danny Garcia 27
CLB: Ryan Finley (Ben Speas) 49
CLB: Ryan Finley (Kyle Hyland) 70
CLB: Aaron Horton 85

San Jose Earthquakes 3 :: 2 Chivas USA
CHV: Matthew Fondy (Jose Manuel Rivera) 3
SJ: Mike Fucito 6
CHV: Jose Manuel Rivera 46
SJ: Chivas USA Own Goal (Jaime Frias) 51
SJ: Jarad Vanschaik 65

SATURDAY, October 5

Montreal Impact 0 :: 1 Houston Dynamo
HOU: Cam Weaver (Omar Cummings) 44

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