The Cosmos head north and west this weekend, where they'll take on the only team in the NASL that managed to go undefeated against New York in 2013. The Cosmos and Eddies met twice during the fall campaign, with both contests ending in a 1-1 draw.
Edmonton struggled mightily to score during that campaign, but were one of the league's best defensive units. The squad returns mostly intact for the 2014 season, and took a similar, defensive approach to their season opener with Tampa Bay. Edmonton wound up drawing that game 1-1 after a late goal from Tomi Ameobi, but will probably feel that they should have won the game. Rowdies' keeper Matt Pickens managed to save an Eddies' penalty that would have knotted the score early on in that one.
The Eddies should present a very different challenge from the one faced by the Cosmos in their opener. Where Eric Wynalda's philosophy seemed to prioritize attack over defense, Edmonton will likely keep things tight at the back and be selective going forward. They'll also be far more organized on set pieces than the Silverbacks proved to be.
Gio Savarese's side will need to be patient and organized on Saturday night if they want to come home with three points. There's little doubt that they're the more talented side of the pair, so if they can manage to find a goal or two without leaving huge amounts of space in behind, they really ought to leave with a positive result.
Opponent: FC Edmonton
Date/time: Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm ET
Venue: Clarke Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta
Forecast: 53 degrees and partly cloudy during the day, with temperatures dropping during the evening.
How to watch: If you're not going to be in Alberta to watch the game, NASL Live will be streaming the broadcast. The service does have a small subscription fee, but they are still offering a free ten-day trial before your card is charged. Those of you in the greater New York area can also attend the viewing parties at either of Jack Dempsey's or Prost Grill. The names of both venues link to the details of that event.