Weekend of July 5-7
Southwest FC vs. FC Grande
I’m going all homer on this one. FC Grande is my home club and I’ve followed and supporting them since they founded a year ago. Last season FC Grande lost in the Southwest Championship so finishing short of that would be a disappointment. The problem is, the conference continues to improve, with Southwest FC no longer the little brother to FCG. Sporting AZ FC continues to dominate and the rest of the clubs are beginning to catch up in talent and organization.
Last week, FC Grande hosted MSC United and went to PKs to win. This week they face Southwest FC in El Paso. It will be a challenge but not impossible. These two clubs are two of the best in the conference and the match is always decided by a goal or two. Southwest won both regular season matches, so they should be considered favorites this weekend. But I say nah, I’ll take FCG.
Timbers U23s vs. Vancouver TSS FC Rovers
On Sunday, the last place Timbers U23s take on second to last place Vancouver TSS FC Rovers in what is expected to be a very important match—but not for what is a happening on the pitch rather, for what’s going on in the stands. The Timbers Army Capital City Company invites its supporters, and any other interested person to join them for the last home match of their season and bring a new stuffed animal with you for a good cause. When given the signal, anybody who brought with them a stuffed animal will be directed to launch it onto the track surrounding the pitch. It’s always a great party with the Capital City Company; the weather should be mild, and your participation supports local children in need. Salem, Oregon at McCullough Stadium at 2:00 pm.
Detroit City FC vs. The World
Detroit City FC will be busy this weekend as they play tonight against Grand Rapids FC and on Sunday at AFC Ann Arbor. Detroit sits at the top of the Great Lakes Conference Division and only needs three more points to secure a playoff spot, but it won’t be easy as AFC Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids FC are in second and third place while also still in contention for the playoffs. Detroit has been one of the best teams in the NPSL this year and are currently on a 9-game unbeaten streak coming off a 6-0 victory against Toledo Villa FC. Ranked #4 in the Grassroots Soccer Media Union Top 25, wins against previously ranked Grand Rapids FC and #15 AFC Ann Arbor would surely make an argument for them to move up in the rankings as the regular season comes to a close in the NPSL.
Tropics SC vs. Boca Raton
This weekend marks the end of the UPSL Spring season here in Florida. Tropics SC play host to Boca Raton FC, who are in their first season in the league. However, Boca Raton face a tough opponent in Tropics SC, who went undefeated in the spring season at 11W-0L-0D and an impressive +33 goal differential. That doesn’t mean Boca didn’t perform admirably this season though. On the other hand, they amassed an impressive 25 points from their 11 games and a goal differential of +12.
Both clubs faced stiff competition in the run to the championship and now they face each other for a shot at a spot in Texas at the UPSL national championship. Both teams rightfully deserve to be champions but in the end, I think Tropics will take this one on penalties 4-3.
Northeast Elite Soccer League Opening Weekend
I’m looking forward to the opening weekend of the Northeast Elite Soccer League’s second season. This is a mini-league run by four of the State Associations in USASA Region I. Five of the top teams from those associations were invited to take part in this end-of-summer competition. The Maryland State Soccer Association is represented by Steel Pulse FC and the Garden State Soccer League’s FC Motown is the New Jersey Soccer Association’s representative. The Eastern New York State Soccer Association provides the Cedar Stars Academy, and the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association offers the final two clubs: West Chester United and Philadelphia Lone Star. Each team will play each other once over the next four weekends, with semifinals and a two-leg final held in August.
This Sunday will see Steel Pulse FC, this year’s Maryland Major Soccer League champs, traveling to United Soccer League of Pennsylvania winners, West Chester United. The second match will find Philadelphia Lone Star FC at home to the Cosmopolitan League runners-up, Cedar Stars Academy.