Week 14 Preview: what you need to know
The men are resting but that doesn't mean the Legion isn't active
Well, the Legion are off again this week for a continuation of their much needed rest and should be sharpening their knives for the (somewhat) resurgent Indy Eleven coming to town next Saturday. That’s quote a while to stew over Wednesday night (more on that when we can get to it and get over our own anger). In the meantime, the rest of the Championship is of course busy, as are our own Legion WFC.
The most important part
Legion WFC play tomorrow evening (7:00pm) against Southern Soccer Academy. The really good news here is that WFC home games have been moved to Spain Park High School when they are not paired with the men’s team at Protective. That will not only make for a much more comfortable live viewing experience but also will allow for the games be streamed.
WFC remain in second place in the South Central Division by virtue of the head-to-head record against the 3rd place team, which just happens to be Southern Soccer Academy. WFC beat them convincingly 2-0 in Marietta two weeks ago, their only loss to date. SSA has 2 wins to its credit so far, an 1-0 affair over South Carolina United last week and an 8-0 thrashing of North Alabama SC, neither of which WFC have played yet. They occupy the bottom 2 spots in the standings, though, and North Alabama has lost all 4 of its games, scoring 0 and allowing 17.
Prediction: Legion WFC should be the better team here, and a couple of physical games the past week should also prepare them to perform well tomorrow. I’m calling a for a season sweep in this one.
Best of the rest
Chances are you were otherwise engaged and probably didn’t notice, but Week 14 of the Championship actually started Wednesday evening. The Charleston Battery and Detroit City played to a 0-0 draw, and with the Battery dropping 5 of its last 6 points the Eastern Conference has tightened up quite a bit. With the Legion getting two weeks off, the rest of the conference is catching up to them in terms of games played as well as points earned.
The Three Sparks could find themselves in 7th place by Saturday evening. First though, two games tonight. Leading off will be Loudoun United v. FC Tulsa (6:00pm). Tulsa can catch the Legion on points, but would remain below them in the standings as the good guys beat them 3-2 earlier this season in that dramatic game. Loudoun are on a 7-game losing skid after a fairly promising start. If they can end that skid it will be good news. Also tonight out West will be San Diego Loyal v. Sacramento Republic (9:00pm). That will be #4 in the West going up against the top team overall, but neither of them have been overly impressive lately. Still, it will likely be an entertaining game.
Saturday’s slate kicks off with an important one: Hartford Athletic hosts Indy Eleven (6:00pm). Hartford are the weakest team in the league right now (even worse than Las Vegas on a PPG basis). Indy of course is the Legion’s opponent next week and are just one point behind the good guys. A win would flip that, of course. They have been erratic this season, but are coming off a confidence-boosting 4-0 win over the Battery (who played with 10 men for 89 minutes and 41 seconds after the league’s second-fastest red card ever).
Speaking of the Battery, they travel to Pittsburgh (also 6:00pm) in a battle for top spot in the East. Should be a good one. The Tampa Bay Rowdies are close behind both teams and they welcome New Mexico United to town (6:30pm). New Mexico are without a full-time head coach after Zach Prince’s departure and find themselves below the playoff line in the West. There are only 4 points separating the top 4 in the East right now; that could get even tighter this weekend.
Rounding out the East’s top 4 is Louisville City, even on points with Tampa. 3 points behind them though is Memphis 901, and guess who they play this weekend (7:00pm). Area Code FC has games in hand over the entire league, is on a 4-game win streak and just signed Emerson Hyndman from Atlanta United. Lou City just had a surprising 0-0 draw with Hartford, so anything could happen here.
Out West there is only one game that should really capture your interest: San Antonio v. El Paso Locomotive (8:00pm). That’s #3 v. #2 in the conference, and El Paso is on a staggering 7-game win streak. San Antonio has stumbled a tad of late, so this one is unpredictable. Depending on what SacRep does tonight El Paso could catch them on points; San Antonio can cut the lead to 2 points. Big implications all around.
No Sunday games this week, so that’s the full roundup.