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USL League One Playoff Projections - Week 30

By Staff, 10/26/21, 11:30AM EDT


Three positions remain open for the taking going to the final weekend of the season

The final game of the season between FC Tucson and the Richmond Kickers brings together two of the five teams vying for the final three berths in the 2021 League One Playoffs. | Photo courtesy Jessica Stone Hendricks / Richmond Kickers

Five games to go, three places to be decided and on top of that we’ve got two possibilities for the No. 2 seed and a range of results that could see anyone from the current third to seventh positions getting to host an opening round playoff game. Pretty good, right?

The only team that can’t host a playoff game at this point is Toronto FC II, which can’t move higher than sixth place in the standings, while Union Omaha has locked up the top spot. With the possibility of a four-way tie on 40 points and tiebreakers to decide the final three places, Team #RootForChaos is taking a seat at the table.

Here are three games to watch this week, and where everyone stands overall in the final round of the campaign.

Matches to Watch

Toronto FC II
Friday, October 29
4:00 PM ET
BMO Training Ground
New England Revolution II

It’s win and stay alive for Toronto FC II against win and you’re in for the New England Revolution II to kick off the weekend slate on Friday evening as both teams try to rebound from tough defeats last time out. Toronto has to win to have a chance to reach the postseason to move past the Revolution II, and then would need help from the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night against FC Tucson to stay in sixth position in the standings, and after a 2-1 defeat to Fort Lauderdale CF will want to respond in its home finale. The Revolution II can assure itself of a playoff place with a win as it would move to 12 victories and earn the first tiebreaker in any scenario where teams are even on 40 points after Saturday’s games. After consecutive defeats – including a bad 4-1 loss to a North Texas SC side that took the lead and pulled away while down to 10 men – New England has to step up to the mark to get the playoff berth it looked in control of until the last few weeks.

North Texas SC
Saturday, October 30
8:30 PM ET
Globe Life Park
Union Omaha

North Texas SC’s victory against the New England Revolution II put the 2019 title-winners in the driver’s seat to return to the postseason again as with a win against Union Omaha on home turf it will guarantee it stays above both the Revolution II and FC Tucson while already being clear of Toronto FC II. If the hosts can only claim a draw, however, things could start to get dicey as with only 10 wins, NTSC wouldn’t be able to pass the Richmond Kickers in fourth with their 11 wins, and both the Revolution II and FC Tucson could pass them as well if New England defeats Toronto FC II on Friday evening and Tucson defeats Richmond in the final game of the night. The good news for the hosts is they’re coming off one of their best displays of the season, and Omaha is locked into the No. 1 position, which means it could look to rotate its lineup before a bye to the Semifinals. North Texas is going to want to make sure of its place with all three points.

FC Tucson
Saturday, October 30
10:00 PM ET
Kino North Stadium
Richmond Kickers

What more could you ask for than the final game of the regular season having massive stakes for both sides? FC Tucson’s lost two-goal lead at Forward Madison FC on Saturday night meant the hosts ended the night below the playoff line in seventh position and almost certainly needing victory to return above the line, which would coincidentally put it above its visitor in the Richmond Kickers. A draw could leave Tucson exactly where it is as should there be a decisive result with either Toronto FC II or the New England Revolution II on Friday, New England would be long gone with 40 points and 12 wins, and Toronto would be on 38 points – the same as Tucson would sit on with a draw – but sitting with the same numbers of wins (10) and a positive goal differential. The Kickers, meanwhile, know a point would be enough to clinch, but a win would guarantee one more home game at City Stadium for Emi Terzaghi and company. If New England and North Texas have taken victory, Richmond could be under pressure to hold its ground.


1. Union Omaha
1. Union Omaha
Record: 14-5-8, 50pts
Max Points Available: 53pts
Magic Number: Clinched
Upcoming: @ NTX (10/30)
It’s all done and dusted for los Buhos, who are the No. 1 seed and guaranteed to host the League One Final should it advance two weekends from now through its semifinal. That means Omaha could decide to rest players for its season finale against North Texas SC. The other teams around the playoff line would certainly prefer Union go full strength.
2. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
2. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Record: 11-5-11, 44pts
Max Points Available: 47pts
Magic Number: Clinched
Upcoming: @ MAD (10/30)
The Red Wolves ground out a scoreless draw against Greenville Triumph SC to maintain their two-point edge in second place. They’re not guaranteed a bye with a draw against Forward Madison FC on Saturday night though, as should Greenville take victory at North Carolina FC, Chattanooga would drop to third on total wins.
3. Greenville Triumph SC
3. Greenville Triumph SC
Record: 11-7-9, 42pts
Max Points Available: 45pts
Magic Number: Clinched
Upcoming: @ NC (10/30)
Greenville is in, but still needs a point to guarantee a home playoff game to open the postseason next weekend and a win to give itself a chance to move into second ahead of Chattanooga Red Wolves SC. If Triumph SC takes victory against North Carolina FC and the Red Wolves fail to win on the road against Forward Madison FC, however, Greenville would move level on points with Chattanooga and ahead with 12 wins to the Red Wolves’ 11 in the final standings.
4. Richmond Kickers
4. Richmond Kickers
Record: 11-9-7, 40pts
Max Points Available: 43pts
Magic Number: 1pts
Upcoming: @ TUC (10/30)
The Kickers will be in with a point – effectively ensuring FC Tucson can’t pass it in their matchup on Saturday night with the visitors already clear of Toronto FC II – and will be guaranteed a home game if they can take victory on the road in Arizona. There is a disaster scenario for the Kickers, though, as should they lose and both North Texas SC and the New England Revolution II take victories, Richmond would drop to seventh on behind the Revolution II on total wins and Tucson on goal differential and be out of the postseason.
5. North Texas SC
5. North Texas SC
Record: 10-8-9, 39pts
Max Points Available: 42pts
Magic Number: N/A
Upcoming: vs. OMA (10/30)
North Texas pulled a remarkable result out of the hat when they needed it most, defeating the New England Revolution II with three second-half goals despite being down to 10 men. They’re now guaranteed to be in with a win and could even be in before a ball gets kicked on Saturday if the Revolution II fail to take victory against Toronto FC II on Friday evening. But should North Texas only draw with Omaha then it could be the odd team holding only 10 victories – fewer than all three of the Richmond Kickers, New England Revolution II and FC Tucson would be sitting on should all four teams end on 40 points after Revolution II and Tucson victories.
6. New England Revolution II
6. New England Revolution II
Record: 11-12-4, 37pts
Max Points Available: 40pts
Magic Number: 3pts
Upcoming: @ TOR (10/29)
The Revolution II’s win total is their joker when it comes to the standings and with a visit to Toronto FC II to open the weekend they can play it and lock up a spot in the playoffs as with 40 points and 12 victories it would be guaranteed of being ahead of at least one – if not both – of the Richmond Kickers or FC Tucson by the time their game comes to an end. The Revolution II could also get into the playoffs with a draw as that result would keep TFC II from passing them, and a win or a draw for the Kickers at Tucson would keep New England in sixth place. If New England loses on Friday, though, it would be done as Toronto would pass it in the standings and push it to seventh.
7. FC Tucson
7. FC Tucson
Record: 10-10-7, 37pts
Max Points Available: 40pts
Magic Number: N/A
Upcoming: vs. RIC (10/30)
Of the matchups Tucson could have closed the season with, a guaranteed win-and-in home game isn’t a bad one. Should the hosts defeat the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night at Kino North Stadium they would match them in wins and move ahead on goal difference, ensuring that both Richmond and Toronto FC II would be below them in the standings. If Tucson can’t take victory, though, it could be in real trouble as a Revolution II draw matching a Tucson draw would keep New England ahead on total wins, while a Toronto FC II victory and a Tucson draw would put both those sides on 38 points and 10 wins, but TFC II with an improvement on its current +1 goal differential as Tucson’s remains at 0, leaving the Canadian side ahead on the second tiebreaker.
8. Toronto FC II
8. Toronto FC II
Record: 9-10-8, 35pts
Max Points Available: 38pts
Magic Number: N/A
Upcoming: vs. NE (10/29)
It’s win or bust for Toronto FC II against the New England Revolution II, which should make for a compelling contest at BMO Training Field. If the Young Reds get all three points on Friday evening, they’d move ahead of both the Revolution II and FC Tucson, with Tucson set to play on Saturday night against the Richmond Kickers to close out the schedule. If the Kickers come away with a win it would put TFC II in on 38 points, while if Richmond and Tucson finish all square, Toronto would stay ahead of Tucson on goal differential while level on 10 victories apiece. Anything other than a win, though, and their season is over.

Eliminated from playoff contention: Forward Madison FC, South Georgia Tormenta FC, Fort Lauderdale CF, North Carolina FC

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