TAMPA, Fla. – Greenville Triumph SC is going to the USL League One Final for a second consecutive year, and that really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
After the disappointment of last season’s loss to North Texas SC with the title on the line, it’s felt like the aim of the club has become sharper and more efficient. Its nine-point lead in the standings is a testament to that as its hard-fought 2-0 win against last-placed Orlando City B gave it that coveted run of five green buttons that represent five consecutive wins in the standings’ form guide.
It might not have been quite the walk in the park that might have been expected, but Greenville has now become that side that gets the best of everyone whenever it takes the field.
Plus, what coach doesn’t want to have something he can tell his players they can get better at in training the following week?
“Overall, I want them to be cleaner in the final third,” said Triumph SC Head Coach John Harkes. “But if you’re not creating chances then that’s a problem. [Alex] Morrell was dissecting the backline and we came out to a much more disciplined attack in the second half.”
Harkes’ presence at the middle of Greenville’s success should be turning heads, too. After all, he presided over a phenomenally successful first season when FC Cincinnati joined the Championship in 2016 and is now repeating that success, building another club from the ground up. The U.S. Soccer legend is proving again he knows how to get the most out of his players.
There’s one place left in the League One Final. Greenville is ready and waiting.
Here’s how everything else looks this week. As always, feel free to come and yell at me on Twitter (@NJEMurray).
|1||Greenville Triumph SC
Week 13: @TUC
Last Week: 1
|We know our first finalist after this weekend’s action. Triumph SC continues to roll through the opposition after its midseason hiccup and earning the right to host is not far away either.|
|2||New England Revolution II
Week 13: FTL
Last Week: 8
|Three consecutive wins, three consecutive shutouts and an absolute walloping of the Richmond Kickers at City Stadium this week? The Revolution II might have left it too late to reach the Final, but they’ve sure turned a corner.|
Week 13: @MAD
Last Week: 9
|Omaha finally found a more consistent scoring touch over the past week. Now it’s tied for second in the league in goals with 17 and has a chance to kick off in its final three outings.|
|4||Forward Madison FC
Week 13: OMA
Last Week: 3
|Saturday night’s draw was not what the Flamingos needed in its pursuit of the Final. Now it’s going to need other teams to falter to have a chance at facing Greenville.|
Week 13: ORL, @NTX
Last Week: 2
|What the heck was that on Saturday night? Richmond is still well in control of its fate, but it can’t have more performances like that defeat to the Revolution II.|
|6||Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Week 13: NTX, @ORL
Last Week: 5
|The Red Wolves didn’t lose too much ground during their week off, but North Texas is starting to look dangerous and won’t be an easy win this weekend.|
|7||North Texas SC
Week 13: @CHA, RIC
Last Week: 10
|Now back for your viewing pleasure, Ronaldo Damus and Arturo Rodriguez. Saturday’s game felt like it was 2019 again.|
|8||South Georgia Tormenta FC
Week 13: TUC
Last Week: 4
|The sand is almost out of the hourglass for Tormenta FC after Saturday’s loss to Omaha. A nine-point gap to make up in four games is just not that feasible.|
Week 13: @TRM, GVL
Last Week: 7
|Like Madison, Tucson really needed a win in Saturday’s contest that ended scoreless. Unlike Madison, Tucson’s Final chance is probably over because of it.|
|10||Fort Lauderdale CF
Week 13: @NE
Last Week: 6
|Back-to-back defeats over the week mean it’s now four defeats in the last five games for Fort Lauderdale and no real route to the Final from here.|
|11||Orlando City B
Week 13: @RIC, CHA
Last Week: 11
|Three losses in a row, three games without a goal. The last time OCB recorded multiple goals in a game was in its last win on August 7.|