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Race to the League One Playoffs – Week 24

By Staff, 09/05/19, 2:45PM EDT


North Texas closes in on a playoff berth as the race around the line remains tight

There are five weeks to go in the 2019 USL League One regular season, which means the playoffs are coming into view for the inaugural League One Playoffs this October. And while North Texas leads the pack, having a chance to lock up its place in the playoffs this weekend, the race around the playoff line has the potential for more twists and turns, starting with this weekend’s action.

Here’s our first look at where things stand going into this weekend.

Projections via

1. North Texas SC
1. North Texas SC
Record: 13-5-5, 44pts
Playoff Odds 100%
Projected Final Position: 1.0
Max Points Available: 59pts
Magic Number: 4pts
Upcoming: @ ORL (9/6)
North Texas is virtually assured of a playoff berth going into Friday night’s visit to Orlando City B, but it would officially clinch a playoff place with a victory on Friday night should either FC Tucson fail to win later that night against Lansing Ignite FC, or Forward Madison FC fail to win against South Georgia Tormenta FC on Saturday night. If Lansing and Greenville Triumph SC both fail to win this weekend, meanwhile, the door opens for NTSC to clinch the regular-season title with three games to spare.
2. Lansing Ignite FC
2. Lansing Ignite FC
Record: 10-5-9, 39pts
Playoff Odds 94%
Projected Final Position: 2.6
Max Points Available: 51pts
Magic Number: 9pts
Upcoming: @ TUC (9/6)
Lansing got plenty of good news over its week off in Week 23 as the teams that could have challenged it for second place in the standings fell by the wayside. A trip to Tucson could be a tricky one, but there’s enough of a cushion to the teams currently sitting below the playoff line that coming away with a draw would be a perfectly satisfactory result.
3. Greenville Triumph SC
3. Greenville Triumph SC
Record: 9-6-7, 34pts
Playoff Odds 80.3%
Projected Final Position: 3.4
Max Points Available: 52pts
Magic Number: 14pts
Upcoming: @ RIC (9/7)
Greenville pulled off a crucial victory in its playoff six-pointer against Forward Madison FC last Wednesday as its defense continued to hold firm in the face of pressure. Triumph SC might be wary of a Richmond side that produced its best performance of the season last time out, but the pressure is now on the chasing pack to earn results with Greenville having a solid cushion.
4. Forward Madison FC
4. Forward Madison FC
Record: 9-9-5, 32pts
Playoff Odds 24.1%
Projected Final Position: 5.8
Max Points Available: 47pts
Magic Number: 16pts
Upcoming: vs. TRM (9/7)
Madison’s defeat to Greenville last Wednesday night was softened by the losses incurred by Chattanooga Red Wolves SC and South Georgia Tormenta FC later in the week, but it now has FC Tucson coming up in its rear-view mirror. The Flamingos can give themselves a major boost with victory against Tormenta FC on Saturday as they look to stay ahead of FCT before their showdown on September 27.

5. South Georgia Tormenta FC
5. South Georgia Tormenta FC
Record: 8-7-8, 32pts
Playoff Odds 18.3%
Projected Final Position: 6.1
Max Points Available: 47pts
Magic Number: 16pts
Upcoming: @ MAD (9/7)
South Georgia is still in the middle of the playoff race, but its current form arguably makes it the most unlikely of the four teams sitting between fourth and seventh place to end up in the playoffs. After Saturday’s crushing 4-1 defeat at home to Richmond, Tormenta FC is going to need to find some kind of spark if it’s going to get the win it needs on the road in Madison.
5. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
6. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Record: 8-7-8, 32pts
Playoff Odds 36.1%
Projected Final Position: 5.2
Max Points Available: 47pts
Magic Number: 16pts
Upcoming: @ TOR (9/6)
Chattanooga’s biggest reason for optimism lies in the fact that it plays Toronto FC II twice and the Richmond Kickers and Orlando City B once each – both at home – over its final five games of the regular season. If the Red Wolves don’t take victory on the road this Friday in Toronto, though, a final stretch of three home games might come too late to save them.
7. FC Tucson
7. FC Tucson
Record: 8-7-7, 31pts
Playoff Odds 40.7%
Projected Final Position: 5.0
Max Points Available: 49pts
Magic Number: 17pts
Upcoming: @ LAN (9/6)
Things have gone exactly to plan in FC Tucson’s home push for the playoffs with back-to-back wins under its belt, but a big test arrives this Friday in the shape of second-place Lansing Ignite FC. If Tucson can take all three points here, it will remain the favorite to claim the fourth and final playoff place. If it doesn’t, it opens the door for the three teams sitting above it in the standings but below it in the current projections to take advantage.
8. Richmond Kickers
8. Richmond Kickers
Record: 7-10-4, 25pts
Playoff Odds 5%
Projected Final Position: 7.5
Max Points Available: 46pts
Magic Number: 23pts
Upcoming: vs. GVL (9/7)
The Kickers’ overwhelming victory against South Georgia Tormenta FC seemed to instill a sense of belief in the side as it kept its playoff hopes alive. As it prepares to host third-place Greenville Triumph SC on Saturday, though, the reality is that there’s a seven-point gap to be made up over the final seven games of the season which means the Kickers have very little margin for error.
9. Toronto FC IIC
9. Toronto FC II
Record: 6-9-7, 25pts
Playoff Odds 1.4%
Projected Final Position: 8.3
Max Points Available: 43pts
Magic Number: 23pts
Upcoming: vs. CHT (9/6)
Toronto FC II is in the same position as the Kickers, only without any positive recent results to offer a semblance of hope. The Reds will have plenty of support from fans of FC Tucson, Tormenta FC and Forward Madison when they kick off this weekend’s action against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, though.
Eliminated: Orlando City B

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