Playoff Picture: Win and They’re In

Lots of action in the East this week. FC Cincinnati has moved closer to clinching a playoff spot but their chances of getting a first round home playoff game have become nearly impossible.

Who’s In and Who’s Out?

Tampa Bay defeated New York on Wednesday, and in the process, they clinched a playoff berth for themselves. They also did FCC a favor. New York had a game in hand and the opportunity to pass the Orange and Blue in the standings. Their loss put them even on games played and behind Cincinnati in the standings. Cincinnati has the opportunity to keep ahead of New York now.

Bethlehem defeated Toronto on Friday. They are now tied with FC Cincinnati on points and games played, but ahead with the tie breaker. The result knocked Cincinnati into 7th place.

On Saturday, a lot of games influenced the standings. The most significant game for FCC was the New York vs Orlando game. New York grabbed all three points in the highly contested affair. This advanced New York in the standings and dropped Cincinnati to 8th place. In addition, Rochester defeated Pittsburgh and punched their own ticket to the playoffs.

The loss New York suffered at the hands of Tampa Bay and the loss Orlando was handed by New York removed both teams from the possibility of a first round home playoff game.

This leaves 4 teams still in the hunt for the 3 remaining playoff spots. Louisville is still the only team that has secured a home playoff game in the first round. 6 teams are still in a position to claim those 3 spots.

Making the Playoffs

FC Cincinnati has been holding the 6th position in the standings for several weeks now. After the results from this weekend, they have dropped down to 8th place, but a victory today will vault them back into 6th. A victory for the Orange and Blue will also guarantee them a place in the post-season. This would take a lot of pressure off. The remaining game would just be to secure playoff seed.

Winning is not required today. Winning either of their 2 remaining games will secure the playoffs for FCC.

A Playoff Game at Nippert

I think it’s safe to say that this has moved far beyond a long shot. Victories for Charleston and Tampa Bay have put both teams out of reach of Cincinnati. The only opportunity FCC has for a home playoff game in the first round is to win the 4th position in the standings.

To move into 4th place, FC Cincinnati needs to win both games remaining and pick up all 6 points. In addition, Charlotte must lose their remaining game, Bethlehem must not win both their 2 remaining games and Rochester can pickup at most 2 points.

Possible? Yes. Probable. No.

What Should Fans Watch For?

Time to rally behind the team and help push them to victory. Defeating Ottawa today guarantees FCC a playoff spot and will help earn the Orange and Blue a higher seed. A loss or tie today will likely leave Cincinnati battling in their last game to earn an 8th place finish.

@billwwolf for @CincySoccerTalk

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