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Week three of the NASL season features several interesting matchups

The Cosmos and Scorpions should be the best matchup of week three, but there are several other good ones to watch

USA TODAY Sports

The early table is starting to take shape, and with the spring NASL season lasting just nine games, most of the league needs a win today in order to avoid potentially falling out of reach of the spring title already. Only two teams haven't dropped any points thus far, and depending on the week three results, the Cosmos and Minnesota United could turn this into a two-horse race in short order. Here's what we have on tap for week three, as well as national television and streaming coverage:

Ottawa Fury vs. Carolina RailHawks

The Fury scored their first goal of the season in week two, but are still looking for their first victory since joining the NASL. They'll be hosting a Carolina team that looked very impressive last week against the Strikers.

As far as the Cosmos are concerned, an Ottawa win or a draw would probably be the best possible outcome. Carolina has done nothing to suggest that they won't be playoff contenders with either of their first two matches, and last week looked like they've found some answers on the offensive end that they didn't have during week one.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 26 at 3:00 pm EDT

How to watch: NASL Live

New York Cosmos vs. San Antonio Scorpions

I'm not sure why ESPN and the NASL didn't make this one their game of the week, as frankly, I don't think you can really find too many matchups of this quality at this level. We did a full preview of this match here.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 26 at 7:00pm EDT

How to watch: NASL Live, One World Sports

Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Indy Eleven

Indy didn't look nearly as good against Tampa Bay as they did against the RailHawks, but still managed to escape that match with a draw. This week will see them play their first road match since joining the league, but may provide their best opportunity for a win, as they're facing what appears to be one of the weaker sides the league has to offer.

I don't think Cosmos' fans really have too much to worry about with either of these sides, but Indy looks like the sort of squad that could be much better in the second half, especially if they add to the roster during the World Cup break. A draw or a Strikers win would probably suit the Cosmos well.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 26 at 7:30 pm EDT

How to watch: NASL Live

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Atlanta Silverbacks

The NASL selected this one as their game of the week, and while the quality is nowhere near what will be on the pitch at Hofstra, it could well be a fun match for the neutral. Tampa Bay feature an unbalanced squad that's among the best in the league going forward, but seemingly shaky at the back, while every adjustment Eric Wynalda has made this season has involved throwing more bodies into the attack. Adding intrigue to this match is the fact that Wynalda spent this week in Spain, calling the Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. The last time he did that, his side looked exceptionally unorganized en route to a 4-0 loss.

Tampa are a legitimate playoff contender despite their slow start, while not too many people seem to expect anything from Atlanta this season. With that in mind, most New York fans would probably prefer a draw or a Silverbacks win. Regardless of the outcome, however, Wynalda is almost certain to believe his side were superior to the opposition for a third week running.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 26 at 7:30 pm EDT

How to watch: ESPN3, NASL Live

Minnesota United vs. FC Edmonton

Minnesota have gotten off to a terrific start this season. They won their opener against a San Antonio side that played most of the match with ten men, before securing a last kick victory in week two. Week three should be a test though, as they'll be facing an FC Edmonton side looking to keep bodies behind the ball at the expense of their attack.

Minnesota will have one thing working in their favor, as they'll be at home instead of playing on the atrocious Clarke Stadium turf. Cosmos fans will all be hoping that the Eddies can do us a favor and take some points from the Loons.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 26 at 8:00pm EDT

How to watch: NASL Live