USSF D2 Pro League Playoff Seedings Becoming Clearer
Edited 2:00 pm to clear up several errors concerning tie breaker situations.
The playoff picture is getting clearer in the USSF D2 Pro League with one final round of games remaining.
This past weekend’s results:
|Fri, September 24, 2010|
|268||7:30 pm||Tampa Bay Rowdies||1:3||*NSC Minnesota Stars||Steinbrenner|
|269||7:30 pm||*Vancouver Whitecaps FC||0:1||*Montreal Impact||Swangard|
|Sat, September 25, 2010|
|273||4:00 pm||Miami FC Blues||1:0||*+Rochester Rhinos||Fort Lauderdale|
|271||4:30 pm||Crystal Palace Baltimore||1:3||*Portland Timbers||Paul Angelo Russo|
|272||7:00 pm||*Carolina RailHawks||2:1||*Puerto Rico Islanders||WakeMed Park|
|270||7:30 pm||*+Austin Aztex||4:2||AC St. Louis||House Park|
Minnesota, whose goal differential (GD) was -19 at one point in the season, have done a remarkable job of dropping that to -4. However, the Stars regular season is over after their 4th consecutive win on Friday evening, raising their point total to 40. Montreal also sit at 40 pts. and still have a home game against the Aztex next weekend. The Impact have a +4 GD. Montreal and Minnesota have split the series. It would take an improbable 9-0 win by Austin to change Minnesota’s 7th place fate.
Puerto Rico, who sit in the 8th and final playoff position with 36 points, could have tied the Stars with a win and a draw in their final 2 games. Two wins for the Islanders would have pushed Minnesota to the final spot. But the Carolina RailHawks, who are in a battle for first place in the NASL conference, defeated Puerto Rico 2-1 at WakeMed on Saturday evening. With that result Montreal will finish in 6th, Minnesota 7th and Puerto Rico 8th no matter the outcome of next week’s games.
The Aztex helped their cause with a win over AC St. Louis on Friday night. Austin is the only team with 2-games remaining to be played. Friday they will take on the Railhawks at WakeMed then travel to Montreal for a Sunday game against the Impact. Austin currently sit atop the USL Conference with 53 pts. and Rochester’s is at 51 pts. If Rochester loses or ties this weekend the Aztex will take the title. If the Rhinos win and Austin picks loses one game and picks up a draw in the other, the title will belong to Rochester who defeated the Aztex in their first game this season and tied them in their second meeting.
Carolina’s win over the Islanders propelled them into a tie with Vancouver with one game remaining for each team. Both teams sit atop the NASL Conference standings with 44 pts. Each team is remarkably even. They both have a +10 GD and have played each other to draws twice this season. Goals scored is the next tie breaker and Carolina leads that stat with 41 to Vancouver’s 30, leaving the RailHawks at the top for now.
Looking ahead to next weekend, the Carolina RailHawks are hosting the Austin Aztex who are battling for first place in the USL Conference, and the Vancouver Whitecaps take on the Portland Timbers at Swangard. The Timbers are perhaps the hottest team in the league over the last 8 weeks with a 6-0-2 record. With a Portland win and a Rochester loss, the Timbers could still conceivably end the season tied with Rochester. Both teams sit at 48 points and the season series is split. But Rochester sits with a +13 GD while the Timbers have a +11.
The Rhinos take on AC St. Louis at A-B Park. Rochester have been in a season-ending slump losing 3 of their last 4 games. They will hope that playing St. Louis who have also lost the last 3 of 4 games will jump start them for the playoffs.
If the playoffs were to start today the first round match ups would look like this:
Austin Aztex (1) v Puerto Rico Islanders (8)
Vancouver or Carolina (Top team opposite conference (2)) v Minnesota Stars (7)
Rochester Rhinos (3) v Montreal Impact (6)
Vancouver or Carolina (4) v Portland Timbers (5)
All eyes will be on the Carolina v Austin and Vancouver v Portland matches next weekend.
Remaining games next weekend
|Fri, October 1, 2010|
|274||7:00 pm||*Carolina RailHawks||vs||*+Austin Aztex||WakeMed Park|
|275||7:30 pm||Tampa Bay Rowdies||vs||Crystal Palace Baltimore||Steinbrenner|
|Sat, October 2, 2010|
|278||4:00 pm||*Vancouver Whitecaps FC||vs||*Portland Timbers||Swangard|
|276||7:10 pm||AC St. Louis||vs||*+Rochester Rhinos||A-B Soccer Park|
|277||7:30 pm||Miami FC Blues||vs||*Puerto Rico Islanders||Lockhart|
|Sun, October 3, 2010|
|279||2:00 pm||*Montreal Impact||vs||*+Austin Aztex||Stade Saputo|
USSF D-2 Pro League 2010
In a tiebreaker situation, it will come down to:
1)- Head to head
2)- Goal differential
3)- Goals scored
4)- The preceding criteria then applies to only games played on the road by each team
5)- If still tied, the preceding criteria applies only to home games
6)- Coin Toss