NASL Week 11: Miami FC Builds 5-Point Lead

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By EoS STAFF

NASL logoMiami FC opened a five-point lead atop the North American Soccer League’s Spring Season standings after its victory at intrastate rival Jacksonville Armada on Saturday.

Jacksonville’s loss, combined with the New York Cosmos’ win at North Carolina on Sunday resulted in a second-place tie (on points) with each team on 16.

Puerto Rico ended its tenure as one of the league winless teams, downing host FC Edmonton, while the other winless team — Indy Eleven — blew a two-goal lead at San Francisco and settled for its seventh draw of the season.

Miami 1, Jacksonville 0

Miami midfielder Dylan Mares scored in the 35th minute, nodding home a cross from left back Blake Smith, and Miami (6-1-3, 21 points) made the former Indiana University star’s goal stand up with some stellar defensive play down the stretch at Hodges Stadium.

The Armada (4-2-4, 16) had a pair of chances go by the wayside late in the second half, both off the head of forward Derek Gebhard.

Puerto Rico 3, Edmonton 0

The first victory for Puerto Rico (1-5-4, 7) came in emphatic fashion over the Eddies (2-6-1, 7), at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium.

Forward Giuseppe Gentile sliced through the Eddies defense in the 25th minute and put a shot past goalkeeper Chris Konopka to open the scoring. Three minutes later, Gentile passed to his strike partner, Pito Ramos, who side-footed a shot into the corner of the net. The Honduras international midfielder Jairo Puerto sealed the win with a goal in the 52nd minute.

San Francisco 2, Indy 2

Indy (0-3-7, 7) scored second-half goals by Lovel Palmer and Brad Ring in a bid for the Eleven’s first win of the season, at Kezar Stadium. But the Deltas (3-2-5, 14) had other ideas.

The Spanish midfielder Cristian Portilla sparked the Deltas’ comeback when he scored from a corner kick in the 85th minute. San Francisco got the equalizer, from forward Devon Sandoval, in stoppage time.

New York 1, North Carolina 0

On Sunday afternoon, the Cosmos (4-1-4, 16) extended to a seven-game league unbeaten streak and vaulted over North Carolina (4-4-2, 14) into second place, at Sahlen’s Stadium.

The Venezuelan international Juan Guerra scored past goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre in the 51st minute and New York’s back line preserved the shutout.

The game was the first of three over six days for New York, which faces Edmonton on Wednesday and North Carolina on Saturday, both at MCU Park in Brooklyn.