NASL Week 13: Miami FC Opens 7-Point Lead


nasl logoMiami FC increased it streak without a loss to nine games and in the process built a seven-point lead atop the North American Soccer League’s Spring Season standings after a 4-0 whitewash of intrastate rival Jacksonville on Saturday night.

Elsewhere, Indy Eleven finally got its elusive first victory of the season; San Francisco shutout visiting FC Edmonton; and the New York Cosmos rallied for a wild victory over Puerto Rico on Friday night.

Miami 4, Jacksonville 0

First-place Miami FC (8-1-3, 27 points) opened a gaudy seven-point lead at the top of the table, pinning a 4-0 loss on Jacksonville (5-3-4, 19) at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami. A victory over the visiting New York Cosmos next weekend would avenge Miami’s only loss thus far this season and put Miami a minimum of 8 points ahead of the pack with three games to play before the league takes a break.

The Italian forward Enzo Rennella (7 goals) continued his torrid run of form, scoring two more to overtake Jacksonville’s Zach Steinberger as the NASL’s leading goal scorer. The Cuban midfielder Ariel Martínez and forward Stefano Pinho, who was fresh off a midweek hat trick in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, also scored for Miami.

Indy 2, North Carolina 0

It took until mid-June, but Indy Eleven (1-4-7, 10) has a victory under its belt. The Boys in Blue earned a deserved win over North Carolina FC (4-5-3, 15) on Saturday night before more than 8,000 fans at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis.

Forward Justin Braun and midfielder Ben Speas each tallied second-half goals and goalkeeper Jon Busch came up with several big saves to help Indy collect three points for the first time this year.

San Francisco 1, Edmonton 0

The Deltas (5-2-5, 20) moved into second place (on goal differential over New York) in the standings with a hard-fought victory over visiting FC Edmonton (3-8-1 10) at Kezar Stadium .

Forward Devon Sandoval‘s 40th-minute penalty kick stood up as the Deltas defense (only 10 goals allowed) posted its sixth shutout of the season.

New York 4, Puerto Rico 2

On Friday night, the Cosmos (5-2-5, 20) scored three second-half goals to come from behind and beat visiting Puerto Rico (1-7-4, 7) at MCU Park in Brooklyn.

Four players — Ayoze, Emmanuel Ledesma, Walter Restrepo, and Pablo Vranjican — scored for the Cosmos after midfielders Jairo Puerto and Conor Doyle struck early for Puerto Rico.

The Cosmos head to South Florida for Saturday’s clash with first-place Miami FC. New York won at Miami, 2-0, earlier in the season and must come away with three points to have a realistic chance of overhauling Coach Alessandro Nesta‘s squad.

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