The UPSL Playoffs will be the top 3 teams in each conference. However, the bracket has not been released on how exactly it will be laid out. Getting the number one seed in your division could result in a bye during the playoff rounds. With the North only playing 12 games, look for the cutoff to be based on that number.
It’s time to start looking at the playoff picture for UPSL Central Heart as we head down the final stretch, and in the Heart Division there are really two races. For the top spot FC Waco and SA Runners are trying to get the very important #1 seed, leaving three teams in the running for the last spot in the playoffs FC Coyotes, Bat Country and Samba FC.
Runners: The Runners have four games scheduled Thunder Boerne, away to Bat Country, home to Bat Country and away to Samba.
FC Waco: FC Waco and The Bridge Brigade only have three games scheduled: Home to Bat Country, away to Bat Country and at Round Rock. There is one game that could be rescheduled which would be away at Thunder Bourne.
What do we think will happen for the race for first in the Heart? Looking at the schedules the differences is Samba and Round Rock. Advantage to FC Waco playing the team lower in the standings. However, the key will be who gets the most points from Bat Country since both the Runners and FC Waco play them twice. Which brings up goal difference, and the advantage for that will be to the Runners who play Samba after FC Waco travel to Round Rock. So, with that give me Runners for two reasons. The first is Bat Country and Waco is a local derby (Waco and Temple) so hopefully it will be a clean spirited battle and the second is that the Runners have the last at bat and will know what they need when they face Samba.
In what could be the most exciting race for the final playoff spot in the Heart Division. Coyotes are almost in the locker room with a 5-point lead. Bat Country has a 1-point lead over Samba but faces the toughest schedule out of the remaining three. Samba has the most room to make up with 6 points and goal difference. However, looking at the schedule they have the easiest path.
Coyotes have Bat Country coming in for the battle of Temple. Then host Thunder Bourne.
Bat Country play home and away with FC Waco and Runners with an away trip to Coyotes FC and home to Samba.
Samba plays a home and away with Round Rock SC and Thunder Bourne with a home match vs Runners and travel to Bat Country.
How it shakes out. Not sure Bat Country FC will be able to run the tough schedule that they have facing the top 2 teams in the Heart Division. Coyotes have a must win (IMO) verse Bat Country, if they don’t, I think it sets up perfectly for Samba. Samba can they get the results that on paper they should beat with a crowded schedule. Samba has 4 games to make up six points, which I think they can do. However, they better not leave it to the last match against the Runners, who may have a bye week to play for.
This week’s SA Soccer Roundtable (super unofficial) prediction
1 SA Runners (back to back Heart Division Champions)
2. FC Waco