Week 16 Preview: what you need to know
More rest for the good guys
Yes, I know that technically Week 16 started this past Wednesday, but hey, there’s been a lot going on aside from, you know, actual games being played. Still, the week is far from over.
The most important part
The Legion schedule has blessed the team with a few long breaks. Just two league games in the month of June is unusual but much needed as the team gets itself back to full fitness. It also means the other teams get to catch up; of the top 8 in the East 3 teams (Memphis 901, Louisville City and Indy Eleven) have played fewer games than the Legion.
But all will not be quiet in Legionland this weekend. As previously noted, the ladies of Legion WFC will be in action at 5:30pm tomorrow at Spain Park High School, when they will be taking on North Alabama SC of Huntsville. After a 0-7 thumping by South Georgia Tormenta yesterday evening, they are 1-7-0 with a -35 goal difference. Which amazingly is not the worst record in the W League (but damn close). Their only win was this past Tuesday, 1-0 against South Carolina United, who of course went on to lose 0-4 to Legion WFC the following night.
So, on top of being really bad, North Alabama will have played 3 games in five days. That’s…not optimal. They also have to play Legion WFC again in the season finale July 2nd. That’s a good opportunity for our ladies to rack up some points. Still, even if they finish the season on a perfect run (they also play Tennessee SC at home next Tuesday), playoff chances are slim.
Prediction: This one should not be in doubt. The only betting should be on the spread. Take the Legion with -5. Not that we would encourage gambling. No, not at all.
Best of the rest
Besides the Legion having fun with Loudoun United on Wednesday, there were 3 other USL Championship games played. Most importantly, Memphis put it to FC Tulsa 4-0. That included Rodrigo da Costa scoring on his former team and the first goal for Emerson Hyndman, newly acquired from Atlanta United. Area Code FC have bult a very solid roster now, and are going to be tough to beat.
We might find out how on Saturday, as they host one of two very attractive matchups this weekend. At 7:30pm conference leaders Charleston Battery visit. The Battery have looked a tad shaky lately, with their only win in the last 4 games a 4-3 affair over cellar-dwelling Hartford Athletic. Could be interesting.
The other juicy game will be Sacramento Republic v. San Antonio in the nightcap at 10:00pm. That’s #2 v. #3 in the West, but amazingly they are a combined 0-1-5 over the past three weeks. Yup, not a W between them. So there should a be lot riding on this one. Or, you know, it could be yet another draw.
Back to the East for a bit: obviously everything will be of interest to Three Sparks fans as they watch everyone else jockey for position around their team. The first important game will be Loudoun v. Tampa Bay Rowdies (6:00pm). The Rowdies have a 3-point edge over the Legion on the same number of games, so if Loudoun can recuperate from Wednesday they could help out. Also at 6:00pm, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds welcome San Diego Loyal to Highmark. Pittsburgh’s 5-game win streak ended last weekend. The Loyal are on a 4-game winless streak, though, and the Hounds could be top of the East by the end of the day.
Next, Lou City are tied on points with the Legion with 1 less game played. At 7:00pm they make that up against Las Vegas Lights. The Lights have the fewest points in the entire league and are 6 points adrift at the bottom of the West. Enough said. Expect Lou City to pass the Legion this weekend.
Out West, other than that one game, the only other interesting one will be Monterey Bay v. The™ Miami FC. The Union have the longest win streak in the league right now at 3 (the Legion have the only other one, in fact) and Miami is floundering. Monterey are already 4th in the West and could be 3rd by nightfall depending on how the SacRep-San Antonio tilt turns out.
Once again, no games Sunday, which means you will be free to watch our co-tenants at Protective Stadium take on the New Orleans Breakers at 6:00pm for a spot in the USFL Championship game. And after that we get the stadium back to ourselves.