Four teams remain alive in quest of National Premier Soccer League glory as they will tussle in two semifinals to determine which two survives will battle for the league championship next week.
Miami FC 2 hosts Duluth FC at Bobcatfield on the campus of St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Fla. at 7 p.m. ET, while FC Motown welcomes FC Mulhouse Portland at Ranger Stadium on the campus of Drew University in Madison, N.J. at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The final is scheduled at the highest remaining seeded side Saturday, Aug. 4.
Miami FC 2
Miami FC 2 was one of the bet regular-season sides. Its five goals conceded tied for the third-best mark in the 98-team NPSL, while its plus 25 goal differential ranked eighth in the league.
The Florida side has lost once during this season, in a road match against Sunshine Conference finalists Jacksonville Armada FC. Miami has won its last eight matches, outscoring its foes, 22-3.
Sunshine Conference final: W 3-1 vs. Jacksonville Armada FC
South Region semifinal: W 2-1 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
South Region final: W 3-0 vs. Little Rock Rangers
Overall record: 11-1-3
Goals scored: 38
Goal differential: +31
Duluth FC has dropped two games this season and owns a more-than-respectable goal total and goal differential. With 14 regular season matches played, Duluth endured one of the more grueling schedules in the league and came out unscathed, continuing that into the postseason.
The squad’s playoff wins can be attributed to its sheer unwillingness to crack under pressure, as the Minnesota team has played 120 minutes in each of its playoff matches. In two encounters, Duluth has taken out its opponent by coming up with a crucial save or a penalty-kick conversion in shootouts.
Midwest Region quarterfinal: T 2(4) – 2(3) vs. Grand Rapids FC
Midwest Region semifinal: W 2-1 (ET) at Minneapolis City SC
Midwest Region final: T 3(4) – 3(3) at AFC Ann Arbor
Overall record: 9-2-6
Goals scored: 38
Goal differential: +17
FC Motown was arguably the best MPSL regular-season team and the numbers back it up. The Morristown, N.J. team is the highest ranked side in the postseason, finishing No. 3 overall. FC Motown’s 40 goals tied for the second-best mark in the league, while allowing five goals, which was tied for third with Miami FC 2. Its plus 35 goal differential was No. 1.
The team’s lone loss came in its regular-season finale when its top seed in the conference already had been secured and players were resting for the playoffs. FC Motown has outscored its foes in the postseason, 11-4, while recording two shutouts.
Keystone Conference semifinal: W 4-1 vs. FC Monmouth
Keystone Conference final: T 1(4) – 1(2) vs. West Chester United
Northeast Region semifinal: W 3-0 vs. FC Baltimore
Northeast Region final: W 3-2 at New York Cosmos B
Overall record: 12-1-1
Goals Scored: 52
Goal Differential: +43
FC Mulhouse Portland
Portland enjoyed a solid season in a small conference that allowed teams to play each other three times in contrast to other divisions in which teams play once or twice. Portland started out with a 3-2-4 record but put it all together as it began its playoff push.
Portland has won six successive matches –five of which have come on the road — and scored 18 goals during the streak. Three of those road victories came in the playoffs, in which it has taken down a higher seed three consecutive times.
Northwest Conference final: W 2-1 at Spokane SC Shadow
West Region semifinal: W 2-0 at El Farolito
West Region final: W 6-4 at Orange County FC
Overall record: 9-2-4
Goals scored: 33
Goal differential: +14
Note: Information provided by Miami FC 2