Miami FC Returns Home, Enters Week 6 As New Fall Season Leader

Author:  Neal Malone
Eddies, Cosmos among clubs looking to emerge from middle of pack. NEW YORK (August 31, 2017) - Heading into Week 6 of the North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season, there's a new leader at the top of the standings. Miami FC knocked off second-place Puerto Rico FC last weekend to leapfrog the Caribbean side and claim the top spot. 

Miami CelebrationWhile Puerto Rico was surely disappointed with its first loss of the Fall Season, the club has an opportunity for immediate redemption on Saturday night, visiting Miami at Riccardo Silva Stadium. Two other games are on the docket this Saturday. FC Edmonton visits North Carolina FC with the goal of building on its recent momentum. The Eddies have only fallen once in the Fall Season, and that loss came in the first contest to start the second half of the year. With a win, North Carolina would jump above the Canadian club in the standings. Elsewhere, Indy Eleven and the San Francisco Deltas will aim to rebound after losses last weekend.

Week 6 comes to a close on Sunday night when the New York Cosmos welcome Jacksonville Armada FC to MCU Park in Brooklyn. A preview of each Week 6 matchup can be found below:

Indy Eleven vs. San Francisco Deltas
7:30 p.m. ET | Saturday, September 2
Carroll Stadium | Indianapolis, Ind.
Watch | beIN SPORTS (National - U.S., Canada), beIN SPORTS En Español (National - U.S., Canada), beIN SPORTS CONNECT (National - U.S., Canada), MyINDY-TV (Local - Indianapolis)

Indy Eleven showed good spirit late in the second half against Jacksonville Armada FC last Saturday, but it wasn't enough to come all the way back in a 3-2 loss. Ben Speas was the catalyst with a goal and an assist. The Boys in Blue now turn their attention to the Deltas, hoping to end a period of three losses in the last four games.

San Francisco fell for the first time in the Fall campaign last weekend in a 2-1 defeat to FC Edmonton. In the loss, though, Brazilian midfielder Dagoberto got on the score sheet for the first time as a Deltas player, converting a spot kick in the second half. Against Indy, San Francisco will hope to create similar chances to last weekend, but with different results, after being denied by the woodwork on several occasions against the Eddies.

Miami FC vs. Puerto Rico FC
7:30 p.m. ET | Saturday, September 2
Riccardo Silva Stadium | Miami, Fla.
Watch | ESPN3 (National - U.S.), NASL.com (National - Canada; Globally except U.S.), CW South Florida (Local - Miami), WAPA 2 (National - Puerto Rico)

The momentum Miami had in the Spring Season, which led to the club lifting its first trophy, is back in full swing. The club defeated Puerto Rico, 2-0, last Saturday and has a chance for a repeat performance, albeit this time at Riccardo Silva Stadium, this weekend. Jaime Chávez has filled the shoes of Stéfano Pinho and Vincenzo Rennella since his return to the starting lineup. The NASL veteran has now scored a goal in the last three games - all wins for Miami.

Puerto Rico was in the midst of a turnaround this Fall Season, having started the second half of the year unbeaten in five games. After the loss to Miami a week ago, the club will need a quick response against the league's top side. Puerto Rico has played well in its trips to Miami with a win and draw in the club's two previous games there.

North Carolina FC vs. FC Edmonton
7:30 p.m. ET | Saturday, September 2
Sahlen's Stadium | Cary, N.C.
Watch | ESPN3 (National - U.S.), NASL.com (National - Canada; Globally except U.S.), WRAL2 (Local - Cary/Raleigh)

A last-gasp equalizer from recent loan signing Renan Gorne earned North Carolina FC a 2-2 draw in the club's last outing against the New York Cosmos. Captain Nazmi Albadawi celebrated his 100th NASL regular-season appearance with a goal in the draw. Up next for North Carolina is a date with FC Edmonton, which is a side the club has fared well against at home. North Carolina has won the previous three meetings in Cary.

The Eddies have been in good form of late and are being led by forward Tomi Ameobi. The Englishman scored the opening goal in the club's recent win over the Deltas and picked up an assist in a Week 4 draw with Puerto Rico. Goalkeeper Tyson Farago also cemented his place between the goalposts with another key performance, making seven stops against San Francisco.

New York Cosmos vs. Jacksonville Armada FC
7:30 p.m. ET | Sunday, September 3
MCU Park | Brooklyn, N.Y.
Watch | ESPN3 (National - U.S.)*, NASL.com (National - Canada; Globally except U.S.), MSG Networks (Regional - NY/NJ/CT/PA), MSG GO (Regional - NY/NJ/CT/PA), CW (Local - Jacksonville)

The New York Cosmos were minutes away from a road win in North Carolina, but the club had to settle for a draw after conceding in stoppage time. Despite not grabbing all three points, there were plenty of positives for the club. Andrés Flores, who scored in the contest, again looked dangerous going forward and spark plug Eugene Starikov was able to put his name on the scoresheet for the first time in his Cosmos career. The Cosmos have never lost at home against its next opponent, Jacksonville Armada FC.

Jacksonville enters the game after earning its first win of the Fall Season. Midfielder Jack Blake was in scintillating form and scored three times - two from set pieces - for the club's first hat trick in its history. Armada FC has played the Cosmos very tough in the first two meetings of the year, canceling out Javi Márquez goals to earn a pair of 1-1 draws.

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