NASL Soccer Bowl – Who Will Join the Silverbacks?

With only 3 weeks left in the NASL Fall Season, the Soccer Bowl picture is coming into focus – and it’s looking very good for the New York Cosmos.

At this point, only three teams can still win the Fall championship: the Cosmos, who have 24 points; the Tampa Bay Rowdies with 17; and the Silverbacks with 16 points.

The scenario for the Cosmos is clear. If they win any 1 of their 3 remaining games, they win the Fall Championship. If the Rowdies lose any one of their remaining games or tie two of them, they will not be able to catch New York. And the Silverbacks have to win all 3 of their games to even have a chance to add the Fall to their Spring Championship.

The Cosmos remaining games are home against FC Edmonton and two away games at San Antonio and Atlanta. In their previous games this fall, the Cosmos tied FC Edmonton and the Silverbacks, and defeated the Scorpions.

If the Cosmos clinch the Fall Championship in the next two weeks, their regular season finale against the Silverbacks in Atlanta will be interesting – it will become a Soccer Bowl preview, one week before the Soccer Bowl itself on November 9 – which is also being played in Atlanta.

But if the Cosmos don’t clinch beforehand, and the Silverbacks are still in contention for the Fall Championship – the last game of the regular season on November 2 could shake things up dramatically.

If the Silverbacks can manage to also win the Fall Championship, the NASL playoff rules state that the team with the second best record over the entire 2013 season – Spring and Fall combined – will go to the Soccer Bowl. This would eliminate the Cosmos because they did not start their season until the fall.

If that scenario were to play out, according to my unofficial standings, Tampa Bay is currently in second place of the combined season with 35 total points, but Carolina (34), Minnesota (28), and San Antonio (27) would all still be in the hunt.

It promises to be an interesting final 3 weeks of NASL soccer.

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