Tampa Bay Sports Day

NASL: Tampa Bay Rowdies Host FC Edmonton

The weekend NASL slate features Tampa Bay’s return home after a difficult two-match road trip and the debut of Central Broward Stadium, the new home field of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Edmonton
Saturday, August 20, 7:30 p.m. ET – Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Rowdies are coming off back-to-back losses on the road to two of the top teams in the NASL and now return home to face another in the last match of a challenging week. Though the Rowdies lost both matches this week, 3-2 to the New York Cosmos and 2-0 to Minnesota United FC, Tampa Bay showed flashes of brilliance in both matches.

FC Edmonton has always been a stingy defensive outfit, but it has taken that to a whole new level this season. The Eddies, led by Matt Van Oekel’s league-high nine clean sheets, have given up fewer goals than any other team this season, conceding just 10 goals in 18 matches.

Jacksonville Armada FC vs. Minnesota United FC
Saturday, August 20, 2:30 p.m. ET – Community First Park, Jacksonville, Fla.

Jacksonville cleared a major hurdle last week, winning a road match for the first time in history, but failed to build on that momentum in a home draw against Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday night.

With a 2:30 p.m. kickoff, the Loons may struggle in the oppressive summer heat of Florida. Minnesota United FC beat the Rowdies 2-0 at home on Wednesday night to break out of a poor run of form.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Ottawa Fury FC
Saturday, August 20, 7 p.m. ET – Central Broward Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla.

Fort Lauderdale will open its tenure at Central Broward Stadium on Saturday night with a home match against Canadian opposition. Along with the excitement of the move, the Strikers will still be riding high from last week’s 2-0 Florida Clasico win over Miami FC and a road draw in Jacksonville on Wednesday night.

Ottawa Fury FC earned the ignominious distinction of being the first team to ever lose at home to the Jacksonville Armada FC, falling 2-1 to the Floridian team in an absolute downpour. Prior to that stumble, Ottawa had been in good form, winning three of its previous four matches.

Carolina RailHawks vs. Indy Eleven
Saturday, August 20, 7:30 p.m. ET – WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.

The RailHawks are stuck in the crowded middle portion of the NASL Combined Standings, still looking to break through into the playoff positions. Carolina drew at home 2-2 against Puerto Rico FC in the league’s first orange-on-orange clash in a few seasons.

Indy has avoided the trap of softening up in the Fall Season after clinching a playoff berth in the Spring Season and has continued to play well. The Eleven sits atop the Combined Standings, but remains under pressure from FC Edmonton and the New York Cosmos and must keep the positive results coming.

Puerto Rico FC vs. New York Cosmos
Saturday, August 20, 7:30 p.m. ET – Juan Roman Loubriel Stadium, Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is still looking for its second-ever win and faces a stiff challenge with the Cosmos coming to the island. PRFC put up a decent fight against the Cosmos a few weeks ago before fading late in a 3-0 loss to the Cosmos, but will need to last longer in this meeting to get a result.

New York fell behind 2-0 to the Rowdies at home last weekend after just 15 minutes before benefitting from a pair of penalty kicks to pull even. David Diosa’s stoppage-time winner sent PRFC to Puerto Rico on a win.

Rayo OKC vs. Miami FC
Saturday, August 20, 9 p.m. ET – Miller Stadium, Yukon, Okla.

New Rayo OKC coach Gerard Nus makes his home debut this weekend after taking over from Alen Marcina two matches ago. OKC nearly held on for a result in Indy last weekend, but conceded in stoppage time like so many teams have done in Indy this year.

Miami FC looked to have turned the corner after a stunning 4-0 road win over Minnesota United FC two weekends ago, but then slumped to a lowly 2-0 defeat at home against the Strikers last Saturday.