ECNL Recap: ECNL U15-U16 Playoff Update
*courtesy of www.topdrawersoccer.com
RICHMOND, VA (January 31, 2013): As documented last week, ECNL teams are sure to keep one eye on the standings as the season progresses and gears up to restart when action resumes in earnest at the beginning of February.
Teams are at different junctures of their club schedule – some have played just a few, while others only have a game or two left in the year. Regardless of that, here’s a look at how things stand in the chase for playoff spots for the U15 and U16 age groups:
Only two teams in the Midatlantic Conference have played at least 10 games, so sorting through this particular division is far less straightforward than others. FC Virginia currently sits in second place, having won seven of its first eight games, only trailing Freestate Soccer Alliance for first place, but the Maryland club has played just two games (it was victorious in both).
Carmel United, Ohio Premier Eagles and Internationals SC also sit in pole position – but it’s quite early.
A playoff spot looks well within reach for Eclipse SC, with a ten-point cushion in front of the Michigan Hawks, as well as a comfortable points per game gap. The Hawks and Sporting Blue Valley shouldn’t have too much difficultly making the postseason if both can hold steady, while Vardar and Sockers are, for the moment, both qualifying via wild card.
Real Colorado’s division record of 11 wins in 11 games is very impressive, and it’s safe to say that the club is shoo-in to advance to the playoffs. They won’t be the only ones from the Mountain West – the Colorado Storm and SC Del Sol round out the division’s top three, along with Colorado Rush and Sereno SC currently sitting in the wild card spots.
The Northwest Division still has a significant portion of its schedule left in the season – which will restart in March – with Mustang SC currently in first place in front of Washington Premier and San Juan Soccer Club. Santa Rosa United and De Anza Force will look to hang on to their wild card spots.
Dallas Sting, Dallas Texans and Albion Hurricane FC currently hold the three playoff spots from the Texas Conference, and each should comfortably hold onto a spot either via the standings or the wild card. Lonestar SC and D’Feeters SC currently are in those positions but will aim to climb up when heading back into action.
One of the new kids on the block is at the top of the Southeast Conference, as Orlando City YS holds a small lead over Gwinnett Soccer Association. Both teams shouldn’t have issues finding their way into playoff action, but Charlotte Soccer Academy isn’t too far behind.
The SoCal Conference won’t fully restart in ECNL action in April, where West Coast FC looks to make its first place standing in the division carry on through the end of the year. So Cal Blues and Slammers FC won’t be far behind, so nothing should be taken for granted as teams hunt for the postseason.
It’s not uncommon to look at ECNL standings and see an Eclipse SC team near the top. In the Midwest Conference, the Chicagoland club is currently hanging on to the top spot with a nice buffer between them and second place Minnesota Thunder. Michigan Hawks and Vardar are certain to have their say in the postseason race before all is said and done, of course.