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Conference Final Matchups Set for 2017 USL Cup Playoffs

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 10/29/17, 3:03PM EDT


Thrilling night of action sees four teams emerge in bid for USL Cup

TAMPA, Fla. – The 2017 USL Cup Playoffs continued to bring drama on a thrilling Saturday night that saw four teams advance to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, with two lower seeds advancing on the road in remarkable fashion as the road to the 2017 USL Cup neared its climax.

The Eastern Conference Final will see a rematch from last year’s postseason with the No. 1-seed Louisville City FC playing host to the defending champion and No. 7-seed New York Red Bulls II after New York stunned the No. 3-seed Tampa Bay Rowdies with a 2-1 victory after extra time on Saturday night. A pair of goals by Stefano Bonomo and a standout goalkeeping display by Evan Louro sent the Red Bulls II through as their bid to earn back-to-back USL Cups continued in one of the most dramatic games in USL Cup Playoffs history at Al Lang Stadium.

Louisville maintained its perfect postseason record at Slugger Field with a 1-0 victory against the No. 4-seed Rochester Rhinos in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Brian Ownby’s 77th-minute goal the difference. Louisville is now in its third consecutive Eastern Conference Final, but will for the first time be at home with a chance at securing its first trip to the USL Cup.

The defending Western Conference Champion and No. 4-seed Swope Park Rangers kept their hopes of a return trip to the USL Cup alive, and it will play host to No. 6-seed OKC Energy FC next Saturday night after Energy FC defeated the No. 2-seed San Antonio FC 4-1 in a penalty shootout after a tense 1-1 draw after extra time. OKC goalkeeper C.J. Cochran came through with two saves in the shootout after Wojciech Wojcik scored an equalizer for the visitors with five minutes to go in regulation at Toyota Field to end SAFC’s first trip to the playoffs.

The Rangers remained undefeated on home turf in the playoffs earlier in the evening as they took a 1-0 win against No. 8-seed Sacramento Republic FC at Children’s Mercy Park. Swope Park’s Kharlton Belmar scored the only goal less than a minute into the second half as the Rangers ended Republic FC’s bid to claim a second USL Cup.

Every game of the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs through the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will be available on the league’s Match Center, with updates from across the league also available via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The 2017 USL Cup will air live on ESPNU and SiriusXM FC on Monday, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. ET

2017 USL Cup Playoffs
Eastern Conference Final
Saturday, Nov. 4

No. 1. Louisville City FC vs. No. 7 New York Red Bulls II, 7:30 p.m. ET, Slugger Field

Western Conference Final
Saturday, Nov. 4

No. 4 Swope Park Rangers vs. No. 6 OKC Energy FC, 8:30 p.m. ET, Children’s Mercy Park

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