After 20 days off the #1 Monterrey Flash will be back in action with back-to-back games at the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg. The Heat would like to earn a split, at minimum. The #2 Milwaukee Wave visit St. Louis and then host Tacoma on back-to-back nights, but the Stars also play Friday at Kansas City. The #3 San Diego Sockers get the week off and the #4 Baltimore Blast host the #5 Florida Tropics, who gave them their only loss on November 18.
While the top and bottom of the MASL are holding fast (with the exception of Rio Grande Valley, who dropped to the dreaded #16 spot), the middle – from 5 to 13 – is totally up in the air.
Sonora and Kansas City took big falls this week, but either team could catapult themselves back into the fray with a couple wins. Tacoma, El Paso and Syracuse finally moved up. They have all outperformed their rank, but there was nowhere to put them in the crowded middle of the Rankings. While they finally get a chance to move around and stretch their legs, they could just as easily drop back down with a bad week.
Of those three climbers, Tacoma has the most daunting task in the form of a Kansas City-Milwaukee road trip. Florida could be vulnerable as well, with road games in Syracuse and Baltimore. The Coyotes have road games in Turlock and Ontario.
Ontario is in good shape after surviving a 5-game road trip with two overtime wins sandwiched around three straight losses. The Fury are 3-3 overall and now have 10 of their last 16 games at home.
Finally, Cedar Rapids needs to be wary in their only game this week, when they host Kansas City on Saturday. The Rampage have won three close games in a row, but they haven’t played well enough defensively, or played a consistent 60 minute game from start to finish.
|The Wave came about as close as you can come to blowing a 9-0 lead against Kansas City, which is to say, not that close.|
|The Sockers beat Tacoma at their own defensive game and then topped Sonora in a slightly more wide-open affair.|
|Even with the smaller field Blast home games are only averaging 12.5 goals per game, but that is up significantly from 9.1 last year.|
|The Tropics bobbled one to Syracuse.|
|The Rampage, picked up Victor France, a comeback win, and a three-game winning streak.|
|Easy win over St. Louis followed by a heartbreaking OT loss to Ontario.|
|Tough loss in Baltimore followed by a big OT win in Harrisburg.|
|The Stars have hung tough with Milwaukee and San Diego.|
|The Coyotes, with their newfound wealth, almost got cocky and blew a 7-3 lead against Turlock.|
|Syracuse came out on top in their fifth straight one-goal game.|
|The Comets got blown out in Milwaukee, but showed some resilience, but a good old fashioned goalkeeper controversy and a home OT loss to Cedar Rapids clinched a sour weekend.|
|The Soles almost lost at home to Rio Grande Valley and then failed to put much of a scare into San Diego. Sonora has used four different starting goalkeepers in five games.|
|The Ambush have lost 20 in a row and are 0-6 this year but they came close to winning three times this year. Trading away 25 year old Victor France seems like a major misstep in their rebuilding effort.|
|The Express had a great road trip, rallying from a 7-3 deficit (before falling in OT) in El Paso and then blowing out Rio Grande Valley in their own house.|
|Those visa players can’t come soon enough. With an 0-6 record and low fan turnout, the relaunch of the Barracudas has been a total bust so far.|