NASL Week 5: What to Look For

IMAGE, ROB KINNAN/NCFC

By JAKE NUTTING

imagesAll eight teams are back in action in Week 5 of the North American Soccer League Spring Season. Jacksonville tops the standings with every team having played three matches, though four teams could potentially leapfrog or match the Armada, depending on the results.

Indy Searching for a Win

The Eleven (0-0-3, 3 points) are one of three unbeaten teams in the NASL, but Indy is sixth in the spring title race after failing to record a win in its first three games. While Indy’s offense is off to a solid start with five goals, the defense has matched that number in goals allowed. Indy matches up with the San Francisco Deltas (1-0-2, 3) on Saturday afternoon. The expansion side is also unbeaten, though it has only claimed one win. Indy and the Deltas played to a 1-1 draw in Week 1.

Armada and Cosmos Looking for More Offense

Jacksonville’s unbeaten streak has been achieved through the team’s sturdy defense with Mechack Jérôme and Aaron Pitchkolan anchoring the back line. The Armada (2-0-1, 7) attack, however, has bagged only two goals and was shut out at home in a draw with the Deltas. After a rough start, New York’s defense could be gaining in confidence after keeping high-powered Miami off the board, and with the potential return from injury of the captain Carlos Mendes. The Cosmos (1-1-1, 4), though, are also in need of an offensive spark. Despite the 2-0 scoreline over Miami, New York has only managed two shots on goal this year.

North Carolina and Albadawi Come Alive

North Carolina (1-1-1, 4) rebounded well from its loss to San Francisco by demolishing Edmonton, 3-1. The captain Nazmi Albadawi nabbed his first goal of the year, but more importantly set up seven scoring chances for his team. While, none of the playmaker’s chances were finished, his creativity and vision aids the team in stretching out opposing defense.

Edmonton and Puerto Rico Bringing Up the Rear

The Eddies (0-3-0, 0) finally got their first goal of the year last week through forward Tomi Ameobi. The team’s typically stout defense, however, broke down against Carolina, allowing three goals. This week, Edmonton is aiming to get its first points of the season as it hosts another winless team, Puerto Rico (0-0-3, 3). Hector Rámos continues to impress as the target man up top for Puerto Rico, but the island club has come up with only three stalemates this year.