It’s the final countdown! Seven out of the eight playoff spots have been clinched, with only the Pacific Division in need of its second seed. Two teams enter, one team will come out victorious. Who will be facing San Diego next week in the playoffs? Well, let’s get down to it!

Ontario has only one option: Win. If they win against San Diego, they’ll be rooting for the Kansas City Comets on Saturday to take out Tacoma in Kent. If there is an advantage for the Fury, they are playing this game at home, where they are 6-4. If there is a disadvantage, they’re playing San Diego, a team that is 7-3 away from the Valley View Casino Center, a team that just wiped out Rio Grande 13-3 last week. I see the Pacific Division picture getting much clearer after Thursday night as San Diego will take this one in a nailbiter, sending the Fury to a 3rd place finish, just short of the playoffs.

Week 19 also gives us a couple early playoff games, as Baltimore travels to face the Syracuse Silver Knights, and the Sonora Soles will face the Monterrey Flash in a preview of the Southwest Division playoff. Both Soles and Syracuse will be looking to instill a little fear into their rivals. Let’s look at each matchup:

For all of my Baltimore fans, this is exactly what I wanted. A rematch with the Blast in the playoffs. But, before the playoffs comes the regular season finale for both teams at the OnCenter in Syracuse. All three games so far have been one goal victories for the Blast, the last two happening in overtime. How will coaches Danny Kelly and Ryan Hall strategize for this game, considering they are playing to finish out the season. Do they rest players? Will we see William Vanzela play in goal for a half? Will Joey Tavarnese and Kenardo Forbes rest their legs? It’s tough to tell. One key player that will be absent from this game will be Knights midfielder Slavisa Ubiparapovic, who will be serving a one game suspension for point accumulation. With all of this being said, I still see the Blast taking the final game of the regular season. Maybe this will keep the Blast fans off of my back for the next few days.

Monterrey versus Soles is an intriguing matchup. In the beginning of the year, we thought the El Paso Coyotes were going to be in the second spot, as Soles de Sonora started off very slow, starting the season 1-5. Since then, Franck Tayou and company have gone 13-2, with one of those victories coming against Monterrey. They put the 1 in 20-1. Can they put a 2 in the loss column for the Flash this weekend? I say YES! Monterrey seems to be resting themselves after narrowly escaping St. Louis with a 6-5 victory over the Ambush. Once again, this game has no ramifications towards the playoffs, so expect a lower scoring game.

Here are all of my predictions for this week:

Thursday:
San Diego > Ontario

Friday:
El Paso > Turlock
Tacoma > Kansas City

Saturday:
Milwaukee > Florida
San Diego > El Paso

Sunday:
Florida > Kansas City
Baltimore > Syracuse
Soles de Sonora > Monterrey

Last week, I went 8-4. Not too shabby.

Be on the lookout for Merlin’s playoff predictions, and Knight Writer’s Silver Knights Awards! Until then, what say you MASL Nation?

LAST WEEK: 8-4

OVERALL: 124-42 (74.7%)