By now you know that the Western Conference standings are insane. RGV clings to the seventh and final spot, where every point earned is essential to reaching the postseason.
Let’s just say Legion FC will be up for this one. Both clubs currently hold a precious home-field advantage for their first playoff match, but Pittsburgh and Detroit are nipping at their heels. Last year, positive tests for COVID-19 among Pittsburgh’s traveling squad denied Birmingham its home playoff match and Legion FC was subsequently eliminated by the Rowdies in the Conference Semifinals.
If Memphis is to overtake its rival for the top seed in the East, it likely has to start with a result in this match. With a road win, 901 FC would narrow Louisville’s lead to two points. Memphis has a game in hand, so even a draw keeps City FC within reach.
Pittsburgh looks to gain ground on Birmingham and Tampa for a home playoff match in the Conference Quarterfinals. Without getting into all the permutations, a loss at Pittsburgh, combined with other West teams gaining points, could mathematically eliminate OCSC from playoff contention.
Phoenix broke Monterey Bay’s three-game winning streak, but not Union FC’s hopes of making the playoffs in its inaugural season. The expansion side still has five games to play, but needs points from as many of them as possible.
For Detroit City to host a home playoff match requires no more missteps in their five remaining games.
In its final home match of the regular season, Switchbacks FC looks to clinch a playoff berth with a win while thwarting a Roots side desperate for points. A win would also help Colorado Springs’ chances of hosting a playoff match because it has just three games remaining, whereas three teams that could overtake them each have five left to play.
San Antonio can all but secure the top seed in the West with a win in this massive clash. SAFC would still need Las Vegas to earn at least a point against San Diego to confirm it.
Las Vegas sits just two points below the playoff line but near the back of the “The Pack” of teams vying for the sixth and seventh berths out West. Loyal, meanwhile, can still catch San Antonio for the coveted top seed and bye – but must win to keep that chase alive. Just as importantly, San Diego wants to maintain its grip on a home playoff match.
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