As it stands, forward Kellen Gulley will be the only member of the Chicago Fire to have a chance at a trophy this year when the Atlanta Silverbacks host the reborn New York Cosmos in the 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl.
In a penultimate weekend of the NASL Fall Season that saw the playoff fates of several MLS teams decided, a handful of MLS loanees competed for a place in the Soccer Bowl. The Carolina RailHawks put Real Salt Lake midfielder Enzo Martinez and the LA Galaxy’s Kenney Walker to good use in a 4-0 shellacking of the spring champion Silverbacks on Saturday.
Martinez was especially active on the night, notching a 20th-minute assist and playing the full 90. The win continued a home unbeaten run for the RailHawks, which stands now at 15 games, including US Open Cup matches.
Fire Homegrown Gulley (above) played the final 26 minutes for the Silverbacks, who suffered their second consecutive loss as they prepare to face the Cosmos in the championship on Nov. 9 in Atlanta. New York booked their ticket to the final by securing first place for the Fall Season with a 2-1 win over San Antonio.
Also on Saturday, the FC Dallas duo playing for Fort Lauderdale suffered an embarrassing road defeat to Minnesota United. Richard Sanchez was beaten twice in the first half and once in the second en route to a 3-1 loss in which former RSL man Pablo Campos played hero with two goals and an assist. FCD Homegrown Bradlee Baladez played the final third of the match for the Strikers, but was unable to help them find the net.
On Sunday, Corey Hertzog started and went the distance for FC Edmonton in a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Edmonton are currently tied for third with one match left in the regular season.
Carolina RailHawks 4, Atlanta Silverbacks 0; Saturday, Oct. 26
M Enzo Martinez, Carolina (Real Salt Lake) - Started, played 90 minutes, one assist
M Kenney Walker,Carolina (LA Galaxy) - Started, played 90 minutes
F Kellen Gulley, Atlanta (Chicago Fire) - Substitute, played 26 minutes
Minnesota United FC 3, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1; Saturday, Oct. 26
F Bradlee Baladez, Ft. Lauderdale (FC Dallas) - Substitute, played 30 minutes
GK Richard Sanchez, Ft. Lauderdale (FC Dallas) - Started, played 90 minutes
FC Edmonton 2, Tampa Bay Rowdies 1; Sunday, Oct. 27
F Corey Hertzog (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Started, played 90 minutes