July 18, 2012
JOCKEYING FOR POSITION
Playoff assured, Fury look for strong finish
With a playoff spot secured by the middle of last week, the New York Fury are turning their attention to perhaps picking up some ground on the teams in front of them, with a pair of home games to close out the regular season.
On Thursday, the host FC Indiana, a team that has won one game all season, then they close out the slar on Sunday against the Chicago Red Stars. Both games are at Hofstra University, with 7:00 pm kickoffs.
The Fury had an eventful week without actually playing a game. The Fury officially clinched the fourth and final playoff position when the New England Mutiny gave up a last minute goal to the Chesapeake Charge on Wednesday, dropping them into a 3-3 draw, and out of the playoff picture. New England needed to win all of its games in order to have a chance to catch the Fury, who would have had to lose all three of their remaining games.
Sunday's road game against the Philadelphia Fever was abandoned due to severe weather in South Jersey. When the make-up game could not be played, the league awarded the New York Fury a forfeit win, and three points in the standings. The Fury are still in fourth place, but with two games remaining (a game in hand on both Boston and Western New York), they could pass all three of the teams ahead of them.
FC Indiana are 1-9-2 and in seventh place in the eight-team WPSL Elite. FC Indiana lost their last game, on Thursday, 5-0 to Western New York.
The Chicago Red Stars have been one of the premier teams in the league all season, compiling a 9-3-0 record, while consistently battling for a share of first place. The Red Stars fell in their last outing, 2-1 to Western New York on Saturday.
Mathematically, each of the four teams that have clinched playoff spots could win the regular season title, although some tie-breaker scenarios would have to play out.
Both Western New York and the Boston Breakers are sitting on 30 points, with one game remaining on Sunday against each other. The Chicago Red Stars (27 points) and Fury (25 pts) both have two games left, with one of those, on Sunday coming against each other, meaning the placements for the league's four team playoff final foour probably won't be known until the final whistle of the regular season.
The playoff schedule for the inaugural Elite League season. will consist of semifinal matches on Wednesday, July 25, and a championship final on Saturday, July 28. All games will be played at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., home of the Western New York Flash.
The league’s No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams face off in a 5:00 p.m. semifinal match on Wednesday, with the No. 1 and No. 4 teams playing at 8:00 p.m. The winners of the two semifinal matches will meet in a 1:00 p.m. match on Saturday to crown the first champion of the WPSL Elite League.