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USL eCup: Rocket League Edition – Round of 16 Preview

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 04/14/20, 9:34AM EDT

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All eyes are on FC Tucson as the bracket begins, here’s what you need to know about each matchup

We’ve reached the knockout stages of the USL eCup: Rocket League Edition, with all 16 remaining teams in action over the next four nights on ESPN3 to determine who will move one step closer to the glory of victory on Saturday, April 25.

With a fixed bracket to the final, we now know each team’s potential path to victory, but right now let’s look at each of the matchups that await us starting on Tuesday night.

Philadelphia Union II vs. El Paso Locomotive FC


Group Stage Results: 3-0
49 goals, 8,204 pts

Tuesday, April 14
7:00 p.m. ET


Group Stage Results: 2-1
55 goals, 8,820 pts
The Breakdown: The Union II and captain Evan Slabicki came out on top impressively in what ended up being a pretty competitive group overall, conceding only nine goals in three outings. El Paso and captain Logan Ketterer enter with higher points total, but as the second-placed team in Group 4 accumulated big numbers against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC to get there. Ketterer should be full of confidence after that game, but he’s going to need to be at his best after the performances Slabicki has shown so far.

Tacoma Defiance vs. Austin Bold FC


Group Stage Results: 3-0
29 goals, 5,878 pts

Tuesday, April 14
8:30 p.m. ET


Group Stage Results: 2-1
41 goals, 7,272 pts
The Breakdown: Tacoma only ranked 13th in goals scored out of the teams that advanced to the knockout stage, but Josh Atencio’s ability to find ways to win in tight, low-scoring games could be a plus as the pressure rises in the bracket. For Austin, though, the potential of an upset is at hand with Michael Cerna having looked very impressive on the sticks after taking over playing duties from Andrew Green after a Game 1 defeat. This figures to be an intriguing contest that could go the distance, so get some extra Code Red in the fridge now.

Saint Louis FC vs. Loudoun United FC


Group Stage Results: 3-0
68 goals, 10,691 pts

Wednesday, April 15
7:00 p.m. ET


Group Stage Results: 2-1
38 goals, 6,619 pts
The Breakdown: Only tournament favorite Trent Wieland at FC Tucson racked up more points that Saint Louis FC’s Keith Mayfield in the group stage, with the St. Louligan’s member stacking up goals the way the supporters group does money each season through its Charity Du Jour. It’s going to be a massive challenge for Loudoun United FC’s Brandon Williamson to overcome, but the former Duke midfielder will be wanting to set the record straight after falling flat in his group decider against Union Omaha. There should be plenty of goals in this one, regardless.

FC Tucson vs. Forward Madison FC


Group Stage Results: 3-0
106 goals, 16,336 pts

Wednesday, April 15
8:30 p.m. ET


Group Stage Results: 2-1
28 goals, 5,892 pts
The Breakdown: Can anyone stop FC Tucson’s Trent Wieland? That’s the biggest question in the USL eCup Chatrooms as the knockout stage begins with the University of Arizona’s College Rocket League National Champion putting up a goal differential of +101 in the group stage. First crack goes to Forward Madison FC’s Mitchell Meerman, who came through an epic three-set match to advance to the knockout rounds. It’s going to be a massive mountain to climb for Meerman, but he’d write himself into USL eCup lore if he can manage it.

Charleston Battery vs. Reno 1868 FC


Group Stage Results: 3-0
65 goals, 10,493 pts

Thursday, April 16
7:00 p.m. ET


Group Stage Results: 2-1
33 goals, 5,715 pts
The Breakdown: No-one knew quite what to expect from Battery newcomer Mauro Cichero, but he came through with three dominant displays in Group 2 to sit head and shoulders ahead of the pack while posting a +57-goal differential. Reno put up big performances of its own in the group stage, but a narrow loss against Tacoma Defiance left it to settle for the runner-up spot and what looks like one of the toughest outs left in the field. 1868 FC captain Kevin Bass might also have a big decision to make, with Brad Palonsky and Matt Rafferty each having put up big wins in the group stage.

San Antonio FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC


Group Stage Results: 3-0
66 goals, 10,268 pts

Thursday, April 16
8:30 p.m. ET


Group Stage Results: 2-1
22 goals, 4,566 pts
The Breakdown: On paper, the great rivalry we have seen on the field in previous meetings might end up a bit of a mismatch in the online arena. San Antonio FC’s Josh Richards racked up the third-most goals in the group stage with 66 tallies – an average of 11 per game – while Phoenix Rising FC’s Joey Farrell scored the fewest goals of any side to reach the knockout round with just 22 – an average of 3.7 per game. But Farrell’s defensive prowess and strategic caginess could be the thing that gives him at least a chance against the free-scoring Richards. San Antonio’s a clear favorite, but this might end up closer than you’d expect.

Union Omaha vs. Richmond Kickers


Group Stage Results: 3-0
61 goals, 10,003 pts

Friday, April 17
7:00 p.m. ET


Group Stage Results: 2-1
27 goals, 5,461 pts
The Breakdown: Omaha looked solid in its opening contest with Jake Mickelson on the sticks, but they found another gear in Week 2 as Wesley Mims – nephew of Head Coach Jay Mims – claimed Player of the Week honors after his two victories that sealed top spot in Group 6. Mims’ scoring ability – especially raining in from on high – is going to be a big challenge for the Richmond Kickers, whoever is on the sticks. Aiden Hendricks is the likely starter after his second place-clinching win against the New York Red Bulls II, but he’s going to have to raise his game to stay alive in this one.

Birmingham Legion FC vs. Indy Eleven


Group Stage Results: 3-0
64 goals, 10,056 pts

Friday, April 17
8:30 p.m. ET


Group Stage Results: 2-1
59 goals, 9,278 pts
The Breakdown: Indy Eleven’s clash with Birmingham Legion FC might just give us an idea of whether anyone’s going to be able to challenge FC Tucson for the title. You see, Indy looked very impressive in two victories in Group 7, but still couldn’t avoid the #BeatEmDown against Tucson. Legion FC’s Kaylor Hodges looked like a serious contender sweeping through his group – and only conceded nine goals to take a +55 goal differential into the knockout stage – but if this game ends up a close one then the odds of Wieland taking it all in the end will go up dramatically.

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