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A look at the NASL opening weekend matchups, and how to watch them live

The league gets underway tonight at 7:30 pm ET, here are tonight's matchups and how to watch them live

Mike Zarrilli

The 2014 NASL gets underway this evening, with four games played this evening along with one more on Sunday. Many of you will be interested in watching the Cosmos' rivals get their season underway, so here's what the rest of the league's schedule looks like, along with how to watch*:

*ESPN3 is included with most cable packages, while NASL Live is a subscription service offering a free, 10-day trial

Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Ottawa Fury

The Strikers finished in the middle of the pack last season, while Ottawa are playing their first ever game. I'm picking Ottawa to finish above Fort Lauderdale this season, but until we actually see if their squad looks as good on the pitch as it does on paper, it's hard to say what to expect.

Date/time: Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 pm ET

How to watch: NASL Live

Indy Eleven vs. Carolina Railhawks

Tickets to this one have been hard to come by, as Indy's first ever NASL contest has sold out. I can't help but think that Carolina's strong returning squad makes this one a bit of a mismatch on the pitch, but the crowd and emotion involved in this one might actually make the Eleven slight favorites. With that in mind, the league and ESPN will make this the match of the week.

Date/time: Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 pm ET

How to watch: NASL Live, ESPN3

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Edmonton

Tampa should be a free-scoring unit that struggles to defend, while Edmonton sent the bulk of last season in a tight, defensive shell. This should make for an interesting contrast in styles for the first match of the season.

Date/time: Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 pm ET

How to watch: NASL Live

San Antonio Scorpions vs. Minnesota United

On paper, this might be the most intriguing matchup of the opening weekend. San Antonio had the sort of offseason that saw many label them as title favorites, while Minnesota would probably be a trendy pick if not for an injury to Pablo Campos. There is also a bit of bad blood between these clubs, and we saw an ugly incident when they met last fall.

Date/time: Saturday, April 12 at 8:30 pm ET

How to watch: NASL Live

New York Cosmos vs. Atlanta Silverbacks

On most weeks, this would be the clear choice for match of the week, as it's a rematch of last season's Soccer Bowl. We previewed this game in detail here.

Date/time: Sunday, April 13 at 5:00 pm ET

How to watch: One World Sports, NASL Live