May 27, 2016
A look at the upcoming games
Indy Eleven (3-0-4, 13 pts) at Jacksonville Armada FC (1-5-1, 4 pts) @ Community First Park, Jacksonville 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3 - U.S./NASL.com - Canada/CW17 - Jacksonville)
Indy Eleven showcased their resiliency once again in their 4-2 win over Minnesota United, remaining as the sole unbeaten side in the Spring Season. Riding their strong back line and the play of goalkeeper Jon Busch through most the year, it was the Eleven's attacking players who shined in the four-goal outburst. The combination of Justin Braun, Eamon Zayed - the team's leading scorer - and Jamaican international Omar Gordon formed a three-headed monster that provided the attacking threat against Minnesota.
Jacksonville Armada FC is hoping to get back on track after a tough stretch that has seen the club lose its last four contests. The club fell just short of earning a draw against Ottawa Fury FC last weekend until Marcel de Jong's late tally. While the club didn't score, the Armada FC created plenty of chances, which Tony Meola's side can build off of back at home after a two-game road swing.
Rayo OKC (2-3-2, 8 pts) at New York Cosmos (5-3-0, 15 pts) @ Shuart Stadium, Hempstead, N.Y. 7 p.m. ET (ONE World Sports - U.S./ONEWorldSports.com - U.S., Canada/ Cox Channel 703 - Oklahoma City)
Two of the NASL's top scorers square off as expansion side Rayo OKC pays a to visit the New York Cosmos for the first time. OKC's Michel leads the league with five goals, while the Cosmos' Juan Arango has netted three of his own.
The Cosmos have had a rollercoaster ride of a Spring Season, but they find themselves atop the standings once again after defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-1, in Week 8. Arango's creativity has led the way, tallying two assists in the recent victory, but the depth of the defending champions was on display. Ruben Bover and Danny Szetela have both shaken off injuries and will be key contributors as the Cosmos aim to repeat as Spring Season Champions.
Rayo OKC has shown flashes of strong play, with Michel at the forefront, but it hasn't produced as many positive results as the club would have liked. But the expansion side has certainly acquitted itself well heading into a matchup with the league's top team. Rayo OKChas performed particularly strongly on the road (2-1-0) and Alen Marcina's side will look to rebound after its 2-1 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last weekend.
FC Edmonton (4-2,2, 14 pts) at Miami FC (0-4-3, 3 pts) @ Ocean Bank Field, Miami, 8 p.m. ET (beIN SPORTS - U.S., Canada/ beIN SPORTS CONNECT - U.S., Canada)
FC Edmonton had a brief taste of what it felt like to be atop the league standings, but the New York Cosmos overtook the top spot later a few hours later last Sunday. The Eddiesdespite having a gauntlet of games, which included two Amway Canadian Championship fixtures, have emerged from their busy stretch in good shape. FC Edmonton is unbeaten in five matches, winning four of them. The strong defensive pairing of Albert Watson and league newcomer Papé Diakité has been a key to the club's success throughout the Spring Season.
Miami FC is coming off its bye week and should be well rested ahead of its matchup with the Eddies. The club has bolstered its midfield in recent weeks with the additions of 2015 NASL Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan and Sierra Leone international Michael Lahoud, as the side is still seeking its first league win. A more assured performance against the Carolina RailHawks in a 0-0 draw in the club's last game will be the platform the side will try to build on with the streaking Eddies in town.
Tampa Bay Rowdies (2-2-3, 9 pts) at Minnesota United (4-2-1, 13 pts) @ NSC Stadium, Blaine, Minn. 8 p.m. ET (ESPN 3 - U.S./ NASL.com - Canada/MY29 - Twin Cities)
Minnesota United is coming off a tough loss against Indy Eleven, but the club returns to where it has been dominant in 2016: NSC Stadium. The Loons have won all three of their home games without conceding a single goal. Christian Ramirez has found the back of the net four times this season, as last year's Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner, Stefano Pinho, is starting to hit top stride with goals in back-to-back-games. Defender Kevin Venegas has continued his strong play in both attacking and defensive situations, but his fellow outside back, Justin Davis, will miss out on Saturday after picking up two yellow cards last game.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies are coming off a tough loss to the New York Cosmos, but they have certainly been buoyed by the addition of Joe Cole. The English veteran has jumped right into the fray and has put in two active performances. Midfielder Kalif Alhassan, who scored four goals in 28 appearances for the Loons, returns to Minnesota for the first time since swapping teams in the offseason.