I can’t believe we are 15 weeks into the season already! This is a quiet week with only seven games on the schedule. Who will emerge victorious? Let’s find out!
Tonight Rio Grande Valley travels to Ontario to face the Fury. Ontario is fighting with Tacoma for that second playoff spot in the Pacific Division, while the Barracudas are looking to improve with each game. Give me Ontario in this closely contested matchup. I know Rio Grande Valley’s record isn’t that good, but something about this team, gives them a bright future ahead.
On Friday night, the Syracuse Silver Knights host Cedar Rapids. Syracuse is coming off of a crucial 9-5 win against Florida last Sunday at the Oncenter, while Cedar Rapids moved one step closer to the Central Division #2 seed by defeating Kansas City on the road 9-7. So, who wins this game? I’ll take the home team, Syracuse. They played one of their best games of the season without one of their best players, Kenardo Forbes, who was serving a one game suspension for a red card against St. Louis a couple of weeks ago. Adding Forbes to the lineup will cause problems for the Cedar Rapids defense.
Ontario isn’t done with soccer this week, as they travel to Turlock to face the Express on Friday. I have a feeling they will go 2-0 on this road trip after beating Turlock. The race for that last playoff spot is on! I have a feeling Ontario and Tacoma will go down to the wire for the right to face San Diego in the playoffs.
The last game on Friday has those Tacoma Stars facing El Paso at home. El Paso won a close game against Rio Grande last weekend, while Tacoma was on the losing end of a 8-7 overtime matchup against Soles de Sonora. Tacoma needs this win to stay with Ontario, and they will be able to after this game. This Tacoma team will be a tough out in the playoffs, if they make it.
On Saturday, three games will be played. The first one has the Silver Knights heading to Baltimore to face the Baltimore Blast. They have played each other twice this season, with Baltimore taking both games by one goal. Over the last few years, these teams have played some of the best soccer matches I have ever seen (most of these have gone in Baltimore’s favor). I see another great match from these two teams. I’m going with my gut on this one, and will take the upset. Syracuse over Baltimore by one goal. If William Vanzela was in goal, I’d take Baltimore. But, right now, Andrew Coughlin is one of the hottest keepers in the league, and for Syracuse to win this match, he will need to have another great game.
In the next matchup on Saturday night, St. Louis hosts Kansas City. Both teams need a win. For Kansas City, they need to win out for even a chance at the second playoff spot in the Central Division. For St. Louis, they need a win to boost their confidence. I could see either team winning this, but if I have to pick one, give me Kansas City on the road. This should be a close contest, with both teams lighting up the scoreboard.
The final game of Week 15 has El Paso and Rio Grande Valley facing off in Coyote Country. As I said earlier, last week both teams played each other, with El Paso winning in Rio Grande Valley. So, will the Barracudas avenge this loss from last week? I say YES! The Barracudas stun the Coyotes, making their road trip record for this weekend an even .500.
So to recap:
Ontario > Rio Grande Valley
Syracuse > Cedar Rapids
Ontario > Turlock
Tacoma > El Paso
Syracuse > Baltimore UPSET SPECIAL!! And my Game Of The Week!
Kansas City > St. Louis
Rio Grande Valley > El Paso
Last week I went 8-3, which isn’t too bad. Rio Grande Valley almost pulled off the upset, as did Tacoma and Kansas City.
MASL Nation, what say you? How is YOUR team doing right now? If your team isn’t in the playoff running, who are you going to be rooting for, if anyone? Let me know!
LAST WEEK: 8-3
OVERALL: 94-29 (.764)