It seems like only a few short weeks have passed since the beginning of the NPSL season but here we are on the cusp of the playoffs, with some of the games being played Saturday June 29 being dubbed title deciders.
No-one more than the teams currently battling it out in the South East division know the importance that one match can have on a season, especially when the game in question will make or break a season’s worth of play.
With Chattanooga FC leading by a point, the soccer ball is most certainly in their court as a win will bring them the title despite what happens elsewhere but their opponents for the final clash of the league season – New Orleans Jesters – have been on fine form recently and will prove to be difficult opponents to beat.
Chattanooga’s recent record is highlighted with draws against fellow title challengers Gulf Coast Texans and Rocket City United, draws that never changed the landscape of the divisional standings. Their previous match earlier in the season against tonight’s opponents ended with a 2-1 victory for the current leaders, a similar result in this, their final regular season league match would be enough to see them progress to the playoff stages of the NPSL.
Gulf Coast Texans who currently hold second spot are just the one point behind the leaders and know that they have to win their game against third placed Rocket City if they are to have any chance of emerging title winners.
The final standings may be out of their hands but they have to do what they can to help their cause and winning is the only thing they can do, the rest will take care of itself but first and foremost they have to look after their own game if they are to give themselves any hope.
The Texans may have a slight edge on proceedings tonight as they kick off one hour behind Chattanooga so scoreline’s are bound to filter through whether in their favour or not.
The Texans opponents tonight – Rocket City United – also still have the opportunity to upset the apple cart by leapfrogging both sides above them in the league but results still need to go in their favour in order for that outcome to happen.
The fourth team in the equation may not be able to progress as division winners but New Orleans Jesters may still have a say on where the mantle of champion lands.
A win against tonight’s opponents Chattanooga will blow the race wide open, with opportunities for both Texans and Rocket City to nip in and take top spot.
Fixtures June 26, 2013
Chattanooga FC v New Orleans Jesters 7.30pm ET
Gulf Coast Texans v Rocket City United 7.30pm CT
Various options now remain for season’s end.
- Chattanooga FC victory over New Orleans Jesters – Chattanooga win title
- Chattanooga FC draw or lose and Gulf Coast Texans win – Texans win title
- Rocket City United win both final games and Chattanooga lose – Rocket City United win title
If Chattanooga draw v New Orleans & Texans draw with Rocket City tonight and win their final match v Knoxville Force then all three top sides would end season on 18 points with a yet to be decided form of separation that will decide eventual winner.
A lot of various outcomes may still arise over the night as results trickle in but only one side will prevail to emerge as 2013 South East Divisional title.
Keep track of updates as they come on Twitter @region3soccer