It’s Squeaky Bum Time for the three teams at the red line in the Eastern Conference in the USL. Pittsburgh (35 points) has four games remaining, Charlotte (33 points) and Harrisburg (34 points) have five. Going into last weekend, one could be excused for thinking there was just one spot up for grabs in the East for three teams, but Richmond’s loss to Charleston puts them below the red line on points per game with no games in hand. These last three weeks are going to be very interesting.
Charlotte did their job in making the PA teams uncomfortable, beating Montreal mid-week and drawing a solid Toronto FC II in Ontario over the weekend. The Independence play the Hammerheads twice this week, once on Thursday in Wilmington, and again on Saturday at home. USL scheduling FTW, amirite?
Charleston and New York held pace in the middle of the playoff-bound pack, beating Richmond and Wilmington, respectively. Charleston’s victory over long time rivals the Kickers stopped a six-game winless streak. Richmond’s run in puts their playoff hopes to the test: they play the Rhinos this weekend, and finish against Harrisburg and TFCII.
As you might have noticed, Pittsburgh’s road win against Louisville kept their ship very much afloat, but their run in isn’t a cakewalk. They play Charleston this weekend, then Wilmington on the road, Rochester at Skyline, and end the season in Harrisburg for what could be a post-season deciding match between the Keystone Cup rivals.
Out west, chaos and anarchy reign as is usual. It’s Oklahoma City’s turn to be on top of the standings again after Los Dos lost to Arizona United over the weekend. Sacramento finally helped themselves by putting Tulsa out of its misery on Saturday in a 3-1 win, all but ensuring they finally close the doors on any challengers for the sixth playoff spot in the West.
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK: Obviously Louisville City’s match against Harrisburg on Wednesday is crucial. Win and Elsie locks up a spot in the playoffs and ensures home field advantage over every other team in the league except Rochester. That’s pretty important. Charlotte could bolster its chances of making the postseason with a win over Wilmington on Thursday, so that’s one to watch, too. Oh, and the USMNT plays Peru in a silly friendly, so pick your poison there.
WHAT NOT TO WATCH THIS WEEK: Endless re-runs of the VMAs, anything having to do with Donald Trump.