Around the League - USL Playoff Push
The 2020 Championship postseason is rapidly approaching and teams are grappling for the top spot in each group
Mark Briggs' men have not been defeated in nine consecutive matches as the squad continues to climb for the summit of Group A.
Reno 1868 FC still have the top spot in the group - above Republic FC by five points - but the Indomitable Club's regional rival haven't locked in first place just yet. Saturday night's heavyweight bout between both clubs in Nevada is a massive one and as long as Sacramento can secure a win or draw, SRFC would still be in the race for first. A win would be ideal because if this weekend's contest ends in a draw, all 1868 FC needs is one point over its last two fixtures to secure the top spot.
The winner of Group A will take on the runner-up from Group B which is still very much up for grabs. Phoenix Rising FC is four points clear at the top with a game in-hand on a second place San Diego Loyal SC side that have 22 points from 14 matches. LA Galaxy II have only played 12 matches and sit on 21 points while Orange County SC through 13 games have 21 points as well. If Phoenix takes the top spot, it's a three-team race for the second and final seeding that will ultimately visit the Group A winner in the opening round.
Group A's second place side will have to go on the road and take on Group A's top squad - likely Rising FC in Arizona. Three first half goals from San Diego last Saturday saw the SoCal club upset Rising FC in Phoenix so anything can still happen in the Group B standings. Massive matchups are on the horizon as Loyal SC visit Los Dos on Wednesday night while Phoenix hosts Orange County on Saturday night.
Villyan Bijev, Kharlton Belmar and Rodrigo Lopez each found the back of the net on Sunday against Tacoma.
Group C already has El Paso Locomotive FC and New Mexico United locked into the 2020 playoffs, but the first-place spot is still up in the air. However, it can be secured this weekend when Locomotive FC - on 27 points - hosts United - on 23 points - and a win for the Texan club will ensure a home game in the opening round of the postseason.
San Antonio FC has already solidified its place at the top of Group D while FC Tulsa, Austin Bold FC and OKC Energy FC are all still in contention for the second spot. Tulsa's 16 points is one above Austin - and seven above OKC - but the table could shake up following this weekend's fixtures as Tulsa hosts San Antonio and Austin visits Oklahoma City.
In the east, all four clubs are mathematically in contention with Louisville City FC leading the brigade with 29 points from 14 games. On 22 points is Indy Eleven while Saint Louis FC sits on 21 and Sporting KC II has earned 13 points from 13 matches. Indy hosts Saint Louis is a massive midweek matchup then four days later, Saint Louis returns home to host Louisville in what could be SLFC's climb to come within one point of the top spot.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Hartford Athletic have secured their spots in the postseason from Group F while Group G sees Birmingham Legion FC - 25 points - and Charlotte Independence - 24 points - fighting for first with North Carolina FC on 13 points still hoping for a miraculous late season push into the postseason.
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from September 22, 2020
- STLFC Comes Back to Draw 2-2 against Pittsburgh Riverhounds - Saint Louis FC
- Around the League - USL Playoff Push - Sacramento Republic FC
- Match Preview: ATL UTD 2 vs New York Red Bulls II - Atlanta United 2
- Preview: Austin Bold FC vs Sporting Kansas City II - Austin Bold FC
- Charlotte Independence v Miami FC: Match Preview - Charlotte Independence
- Austin Youth Standout AJ Francois Joins Austin Bold FC - Austin Bold FC
- Loudoun United FC Match against the Charleston Battery Postponed - Loudoun United FC
- Crognale, Brett Named to USL Championship Team of the Week - Birmingham Legion FC
- Aaron Maund Named to Week 13 USL Team of the Week - Charlotte Independence
- SD Loyal's Rubio Rubin Named USL Championship Player of the Week Ã¢ÂÂ Week 13 - San Diego Loyal
- San Diego's Rubio Rubin earns Player of the Week after hat trick in victory against Rising FC - USL
- Christiano Francois and Younes Boudadi named to USL Team of the Week - Reno 1868 FC
- Match against North Carolina FC Postponed - Memphis 901 FC
- Three Takeaways from #SACvTAC - Sacramento Republic FC
- Kickoff Time Changed for LouCity Finale - Louisville City FC
- SD Loyal Heads North to Face Group B Rival LA Galaxy II - San Diego Loyal
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