The back-to-back is the ultimate equalizer. The St. Louis Ambush are 0-4 on the second game of a back-to-back. This weekend, though teams were only 1-2 in such situations because there was only one Saturday game on the schedule, three teams suffered major letdowns in their second game this weekend.
Maybe none bigger than the Milwaukee Wave who came off an emotional win in Baltimore, and then struggled to maintain focus the next night against the then 3-9 Harrisburg Heat.
The Orlando SeaWolves got a huge sudden death overtime win in St. Louis and then two nights later were totally dominated by the Kansas City Comets.
Utica City’s win in Mississauga went as expected on Friday, but they could not capitalize on a chance to virtually lock up an Eastern Division title when they lost to the Blast on Sunday.
Nine teams had two games last weekend and six of them went 1-1, keeping the status quo mostly intact in the rankings. Harrisburg went 2-0, while Mississauga and Ontario went 0-2.
The Wave and Heat have the chance to be South Central Division spoilers this week from above and below. Milwaukee visits Orlando and St. Louis, while Harrisburg goes to St. Louis and Kansas City.
Turlock gets the deluxe privilege of playing against Landon Donovan, but if they don’t play their part they can ruin the San Diego celebration on Friday, where a win would clinch the Pacific Division for the Sockers.
The Wave left it all out on the floor in Baltimore Friday, but only had fits and starts left for Harrisburg on Saturday.
Just in case anyone on Utica started to think this was going to be easy…
The Flash took care of the Fury with a seven-goal second half run.
The Barracudas were lucky to escape with a win over Ontario on Sunday.
The Blast showed Sunday they weren’t ready to quietly cede their reign to Utica.
The Ambush salvaged their weekend and remained firmly in the playoff race with a wild 10-9 overtime win over Florida after a wild 7-6 OT loss to Orlando.
The Comets got a huge win over Orlando and then lost their starting goalkeeper, Brett Petricek, who was suddenly
mysteriously released and/or retired.
We have seen this all year in the South Central playoff race. Orlando seemed ready to grab the reins when they got on the plus-side of .500 for the first time, only to lose badly in Kansas City Sunday.
The Sidekicks have quietly shown improvement and. while the playoffs are mostly out of reach, the players seem determined to avoid a third straight lost season.
The Fury’s 10th loss in 15 games has them still tied for the final playoff spot in the surprisingly noncompetitive Pacific Division.
Eight losses in 11 games? No problem! The Stars remain tied with Ontario for a final playoff spot that no one seems to want.
With the Blast losing twice at SECU Arena recently, the toughest place to play is suddenly the Farm Show Arena. where the Heat have won five straight, including wins over the three best Eastern Conference teams. But it’s the Heat’s 0-8 road record that is currently defining their season.
The Tropics disappointing run has been more bearable lately with the ascension of Andre Braithwaite, who has 10 (often spectacular) goals in seven games since being traded from Utica.
Dwayne De Rosario returned to the field, but the Metros ticked off two more losses.
Omar Tapia scored a hat trick for Turlock, but the Express lost at home to the struggling Stars, 6-4.