The contingent of MLS players on loan in the NASL almost all fell short over in the search for results over the weekend, and it’s looking increasingly likely that the New York Cosmos will play for the league title next month.
Losses by Carolina, Fort Lauderdale and FC Edmonton helped the Cosmos surge to a seven-point lead in the fall standings with three games remaining. If the Cosmos beat Edmonton at home on Oct. 20, they’ll clinch a spot in the Soccer Bowl against the Atlanta Silverbacks on Nov. 9 in Atlanta.
The Cosmos handled visiting Carolina 4-0 on Saturday, knocking off a trio of MLSers on loan with the Railhawks. Midfielders Kenney Walker (LA Galaxy) and Enzo Martinez (Real Salt Lake) started and went the distance for an injury-riddled RailHawks side, while defender Bryan Gaul (LA Galaxy) joined for the final six minutes of play.
Forward Corey Hertzog (Vancouver Whitecaps) was in action for the Eddies on Sunday in a 1-0 road loss to the San Antonio Scorpions. Hertzog was active but failed to help his team convert or take any points from a resurgent San Antonio side.
Midfielder Callum Mallace (Montreal Impact) also started and played the full 90 minutes for Minnesota United, who lost on the road in Atlanta, 3-1. The Silverbacks called on forward Kellen Gulley (Chicago Fire) to play the final seven minutes of the match.
In Florida, the Tampa Bay Rowdies defeated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers to win the Florida derby. Goalkeeper Richard Sanchez (FC Dallas) again took his place in goal for the Strikers, but was unable to stop goals by Etienne Barbara and Luke Mulholland.
Down 2-1, the Strikers called on forward Bradlee Baladez (FC Dallas) for the final 12 minutes of the match.
Saturday, Oct. 12
New York Cosmos 4, Carolina RailHawks 0
Kenney Walker, Carolina (LA Galaxy) - Started, played 90
Enzo Martinez, Carolina (Real Salt Lake) - Started, played 90
Bryan Gaul, Carolina (LA Galaxy) - Substitute, played 6
Atlanta Silverbacks 3, Minnesota United 1
Kellen Gulley, Atlanta (Chicago Fire) - Substitute, played 7
Calum Mallace, Minnesota (Montreal Impact) - Started, played 90
Tampa Bay Rowdies 2, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1
Richard Sanchez, Fort Lauderdale (FC Dallas) - Started, played 90
Bradlee Baladez, Fort Lauderdale (FC Dallas) - Substitute, played 12
Sunday, Oct. 13
San Antonio Scorpions 1, FC Edmonton 0
Corey Hertzog, Edmonton (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Started, played 90