Hey, last night was not ideal!
The Boys in Gold still stand a reasonable chance to make the postseason, currently sitting in seventh place in the East after becoming the only team in the East to not beat Toronto FC II this season. Here’s what the table looks like:
Nashville is safely in with a win/draw against FC Cincinnati, as that would put them out of reach of Ottawa. A win would obviously put them into the playoffs, moving possibly as high as No. 5 despite last night’s result.
If either of the Steel/Fury fail to get a result (or the Fury only get a draw), Nashville is in as things stand right now. The Fury, a very poor team with a goal differential in the negative double-digits, is Exhibit A for how bad an idea the USL’s first tiebreaker (total wins, rather than goal differential) is, for what it’s worth. North Carolina FC cannot pass Nashville after last night’s loss to Louisville City. Their only path to the playoffs is a win, a Bethlehem loss (with those two making up a goal differential of six), and a Fury loss/draw. Essentially, they’re cheering for the same results we are, but they need both of them, not just one or the other.
The only scenario that sees Nashville miss the playoffs (even with a loss to Cincinnati) is a Steel win/draw combined with a Fury win. If NSC wins while Indy and New York both lose/draw, fifth place is still a possibility.
The Fury takes on Charleston Battery (which is now locked into the fourth spot int he playoffs after Nashville’s loss) at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. The Battery can rest players with their playoff spot absolutely secure, so it’s not a gimme from a Nashville perspective. Bethehem doesn’t take on Tampa Bay Rowdies until 2:00 p.m. Sunday, so if Ottawa wins Saturday afternoon while Nashville loses in the evening, there will be a good 18 hours of sweating it out.
Your updated rooting guide:
- Charleston over Ottawa (1 p.m. Saturday)
- Louisville over Indy (6:30 p.m. Saturday)
- Nashville over Cincinnati (obviously, 7:30 p.m. Saturday)
- Bethlehem over Tampa (2 p.m. Sunday)
- Pittsburgh over New York (4 p.m. Saturday)