Week 13 Preview: what you need to know

A big game before the big game


Yes, we know that the Legion are off this week for a much needed rest ahead of Wednesday’s big game (which we will address in a later post), but that doesn’t mean the league is taking a break, or even the club for that matter…

The most important part

We haven’t had much of a chance to cover Legion WFC given that the team started its season the day we left for Europe and has played all three games while we were gone. To date the team has performed very well, going 2-0-1 and sitting in first in the South Central Division (which orders the standings on a PPG basis). And they’ve done it all on the road.

They started off by coming back from a first half deficit against defending champions Tormenta, scoring twice in second half stoppage time. Isabel Smith and Norah Roller were the scorers. Next they drew 1-1 at Tennessee SC in Brentwood, with Norah Roller scoring in the 3rd minute, only to have the game tied in the 63rd. Finally they beat Southern Soccer Academy in Marietta 2-0, Jasmine Greene notching one in the 67th minute and Norah Roller the second just 2 minutes later.

I think it’s pretty clear who WFC’s main scoring threat is. Norah is an Indian Springs grad And Alabama FC player, who has signed with Furman starting this fall. She will be joined there by Homewood product Maddie Massie, who is also on the WFC roster. The team’s starting goalkeeper Mackenzie (Mac) Titus from Chelsea, however, may be the real star of the team, having put up some stupendous saves already. She has also made some waves in the college ranks. After redshirting her freshman year she was called on to replace the Bulldogs’ starter who was injured in the 2nd minute against South Carolina last October and has started ever since. Her last college game this season was against powerhouse Alabama in the SEC quarterfinals, in which she made 9 saves.

This weekend though will probably be their biggest test yet. The last road game before they finally get to play at home (at Protective in a doubleheader this Wednesday) will be at Chattanooga Red Wolves at 6:30pm on Sunday. First, the really good news: this game should be streamed live. The Red Wolves are one of several W League teams on the Eleven Sports platform. You can find their page here. They are already much further into their season, having played 6 games with a 4-1-1 record and are the only team in the division with more points than WFC. Their most recent game was a 1-0 win at Tormenta. They started the season with back-to-back 3-1 home wins over Tennessee SC and South Carolina United, but haven’t scored more than 1 goal in any game since, and the goal against Tormenta was an own goal The one loss was a 0-1 affair in the return fixture at South Carolina. Still, they’ve scored 9 and allowed just 4. They seem to spread the wealth around a bit, but the main striker appears to be Clarissa Salinas, a sophomore at the UT Chattanooga Moccasins.

Prediction: Dare I make a prediction on this one? Well, yeah, but I’m also going to bottle out a bit and go with a draw; these teams look pretty evenly matched. A men and women twofer over the Red Wolves would be great, but it’s unlikely to happen.

Best of the rest

The Championship action kicks off tonight, with the Charleston Battery hosting Indy Eleven (6:30pm) in something of a mismatch. More interesting will be the Colorado Springs switchbacks against Oakland Roots (8:00pm). The Switchbacks are on a 4-game slide (the Legion aren’t the only team struggling) and the Roots have edged above in the Western standings, so this one will be important to both sides.

The rest of the games are all Saturday evening fixtures. In the East, aside from FC Tulsa (who played to a 0-0 draw at Monterey Bay Wednesday) all teams in the conference have played fewer games than the Legion, so with the Three Sparks off both this weekend and next weekend, they will be catching up. First up at 6:00pm are Hartford Athletic v. Louisville City and Pittsburgh Riverhounds v. Phoenix Rising. Dropped points by Lou City and the Hounds would be good for the Legion, but more likely in the case of Pitt, who face a stronger opponent and have their own Open Cup game Tuesday to consider.

Next is the big game of the week: the Tampa Bay Rowdies face Sacramento Republic (6:30pm). The Rowdies are on a 5-game win streak and SacRep are of course leading the West. Should be a good one.

Following that at 7:30pm is a key matchup: Memphis 901 v. The™ Miami FC. Area Code FC (whom the Legion were originally scheduled to play Wednesday) is just a point behind the Legion but have played 4 fewer games. Not that we want Miami to get points, but we need the BBQ-haters to waste points more.

Out West there is maybe one game of interest: San Antonio v. San Diego Loyal (8:00pm). They are 3rd and 4th in the conference and separated by 2 points. This then is a key game for both teams, who both need to stay within reach of SacRep and El Paso Locomotive (who will likely extend their 6-game win streak against New Mexico United).


For those who like yours truly have shelled out for MLS Season Pass, you may be more than a little irked to learn that it will be free this Saturday, but it does mean that we can all watch Inter Miami play DC United (6:30pm). This will be a good chance to see the opposition in action, especially since they are on a 4-game league losing streak and just fired their head coach (more on that in our Open Cup preview).

Also fun is the ongoing TST tournament in Cary, North Carolina, a 7v7 event with some wacky rules and featuring some well-known soccer names from the US and Europe. Games are being streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Peacock (which is not free but is currently offering a $19.99 1-year subscription—yes, a year, not a month).

That’s all folks!

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