Focus On Showdown In Miami In Week 14 Action

Author:  Neal Malone
NEW YORK (June 22, 2017) - Week 14 of the North American Soccer League (NASL) Spring Season comes with another stern test of Miami FC's title-winning credentials. Miami faces the New York Cosmos, who sit seven points behind along with the San Francisco Deltas in the table, on Saturday night. A win at Riccardo Silva Stadium would move Miami closer to gaining the Spring Championship. A loss, of course, would bring the rest of the pack a little closer.

Miami FC june smlThe Deltas head north to take on FC Edmonton and the club has yet to lose on the road in league play. The other Saturday night kickoff gets underway in Cary as North Carolina FC squares off with Indy Eleven.

On Sunday, Jacksonville Armada FC hosts Puerto Rico FC as both sides look to rebound from conceding four goals apiece a weekend ago.

Continue below for a preview of all the matchups in Week 14:

Miami FC vs. New York Cosmos
7:30 p.m. ET | Saturday, June 24
Riccardo Silva Stadium | Miami, Fla.
Watch | beIN SPORTS USA (National - U.S., Canada), beIN SPORTS CONNECT (National - U.S., Canada), CW South Florida (Local - Miami), MSG Networks (Regional - NY/NJ/CT/PA), MSG GO (Regional - NY/NY/CT/PA)

Miami FC has been in scintillating form, entering its contest against the New York Cosmos on a 12-game unbeaten streak, in all competitions. Vincenzo Rennella has increased his goal total to seven - a league best - and has scored eight goals in his last 10 games. Strike partner Stéfano Pinho has scored four goals in his last two games, including a hat trick against Orlando City SC of MLS in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The club most recently defeated Jacksonville Armada FC, 4-0, powered by two goals and an assist from Rennella. Miami's current run of form took off after a loss to the Cosmos back in April. Despite dominating that contest, New York left South Florida with a 2-0 victory.

The Cosmos showcased the traits that have earned the club the title of reigning NASL Champions. Trailing against Puerto Rico FC, the Cosmos stormed back to win, 4-2. It was the second time the club came back against the Caribbean side and Emmanuel Ledesma again was the catalyst. He had a pair of assists in the first victory and followed that performance up with a sensational half-volley to equalize the contest last Friday. Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer made eight saves to keep a clean sheet in the club's last visit to Miami and will need to be on his toes once more against the NASL's most potent attack.

North Carolina FC vs. Indy Eleve
7:30 p.m. ET | Saturday, June 24
Sahlen's Stadium | Cary, N.C.

Watch | ESPN3 (National - U.S.), NASL.com (National - Canada), Spectrum SportsChannel (Regional - North/South Carolina), WRAL2 (Local -Cary/Raleigh)

North Carolina FC heads into the weekend aiming to shake off a tough stretch. The club has lost three of its last four league games and four out of its last five overall. The club has also been shut out twice in that span. Midfielder Lance Laing has continued his hot form, though, scoring twice from free kicks in the last three games, including one against the Houston Dynamo of MLS in the Open Cup. North Carolina recently lost to Indy Eleven, 2-0, at Carroll Stadium.

Indy picked up its first win of the year last weekend, but to turn it into the start of a streak, the club will have to do what it hasn't done often: win on the road. The Boys in Blue have won just three games since June 6, 2015 away from Carroll Stadium. In last weekend's contest, Justin Braun scored his team-leading fifth goal of the year, while Ben Speas got on the scoresheet for the first time since April 1.

FC Edmonton vs. San Francisco Deltas
9 p.m. ET | Saturday, June 24
Clarke Stadium | Edmonton, Alberta
Watch | ESPN3 (National - U.S.), NASL.com (National - Canada), Facebook Live (National - Canada)

FC Edmonton has played well over its last three games, but the club has only one win to show for it. The Eddies have seen a pair of results go against them by a 1-0 scoreline. FC Edmonton is also still searching for a consistent goalscoring threat having been shut out in three of the last four contests. The club will look to finally get the better of the San Francisco Deltas this weekend after two 1-0 losses to the first-year side this season.

The Deltas head to Clarke Stadium with its unbeaten run on the road in league play intact, picking up three wins and three draws. Cristian Portilla scored the game-winner in the club's first trip to Edmonton, while Devon Sandoval's tally from the penalty spot was the difference in last weekend's contest with the Eddies. San Francisco can ill afford to drop points if the club is going to challenge Miami FC for the Spring title.

Jacksonville Armada FC vs. Puerto Rico FC
6 p.m. ET | Sunday, June 25
Hodges Stadium | Jacksonville, Fla.
Watch | ESPN3 (National - U.S.), NASL.com (Canada), THIS TV (Local - Jacksonville), WAPA 2 (National - Puerto Rico)

Jacksonville Armada FC has been on a rollercoaster ride in recent weeks. After defeating Indy Eleven, 4-1, the club fell, 4-0, to Miami FC last weekend, failing to gain ground on the league leaders. Starting goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell will be available once more after missing out last weekend due to a red-card suspension, which will boost Armada FC's defensive efforts. Patterson-Sewell has four clean sheets in 2017.

Puerto Rico FC is aiming to shake off successive losses, most recently falling, 4-2, to the New York Cosmos. Honduran international Jairo Puerto has been in great form in recent weeks, scoring in three straight games and adding an assist last weekend. It will be the first meeting of the season between the two sides when the clubs line up on Sunday.

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