Only three weeks remain in the USL League Two regular season and the race to earn postseason spots is getting tight. If the postseason was to start today, here is a look at the potential 32 teams that would make the cut.
The Western Conference is divided into three divisions: Northwest, Southwest and Mountain. The Southwest Division is the largest of the three and will earn four playoff berths, while the Northwest and Mountain Divisions have two spots each.
The Southern California Seahorses lead the Southwest Division with their undefeated record and 16 points. Project 51O and San Francisco Glens SC follow closely behind with Ventura County Fusion rounding out the top four.
Ballard FC and Capital FC hold the top two spots in the Northwest Division with 17 points apiece. Both teams are on a two-game winning streak, but Ballard has a slight advantage with 2.43 points per game compared to Capital’s 2.13.
Park City Red Wolves SC dominates the Mountain Division as the only undefeated team. Flatirons Rush has a current hold on the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with 14 points.
Four divisions make up the Central Conference: Great Lakes, Heartland, Deep North and Valley. Two teams from each division will make the playoffs.
Kalamazoo FC stands at the top of the Great Lakes Division with 21 points. However, they have played more games than second-place AFC Ann Arbor and have a lower average points per game, making Ann Arbor the higher seed.
St. Louis Lions and Chicago FC United hold the top two spots in the Heartland Division with 20 points each. However, Kaw Valley FC are right on their heels with 19 points. They will face the Lions in their last two games of the season, meaning this race is wide open.
Des Moines Menace, the 2021 champions, have all but secured a repeat appearance for this year’s playoffs. They sit at the top of the Deep North Division with 25 points and an 8-0-1 record. Peoria City follow behind in second place with 15 points.
Three teams are currently battling out for the playoff spots in the Valley Division. Both the top two teams, South Bend Lions and Fort Wayne FC, have 19 points. However, Kings Hammer FC is just behind in third place with a game in hand on Fort Wayne FC. Fort Wayne’s match against the Lions on July 2 will be crucial in determining the playoff spots.
In the Southern Conference, the top two teams from both the Southeast and South Central Divisions earn playoff berths. In the Mid-South, Lone Star and South Atlantic Divisions, only the first-place teams earn spots and a wild card spot will be given to the best second-place team from those three divisions.
Nona FC has taken a commanding lead over the Southeast Division with 31 points. The Villages SC is holding onto the second place spot with 21 points and four games left in the season. One Knoxville SC and Asheville City SC look promising for the South Central Division as they sit in first and second place, respectively.
North Carolina Fusion U23 and Texas United have nearly locked in their playoff spots from the South Atlantic and Mid-South divisions. Houston FC currently leads the Lone Star Division in points, but the uneven number of games would put Brazos Valley Cavalry FC in that playoff spot with a higher average points per game.
The top three Lone Star division teams, along with West Virginia United, all have the potential to be the Southern Conference wild card spot. The last few games of the season will determine who earns the berth, as each club is ranging from 16-19 points and 2-2.29 points per game.
Within the Eastern Conference, the Mid Atlantic and Chesapeake Divisions first-place teams earn a playoff berth and the best second-place team earns the wild card spot. In the Metropolitan and Northeast Divisions, the top two teams from each will earn playoff berths and the best third-place team will earn another wild card spot.
The Ocean City Nor’Easters sit at the top of the Mid Atlantic Division, while Lionsbridge FC is the top team in the Chesapeake Division. The second place teams in those divisions, Christos FC and West Chester United SC, both have 19 points, so points per game would be the tiebreaker. Christos FC has the higher average of 2.38 and would earn the first wild card spot.
Manhattan SC and Long Island Rough Riders are holding firmly to the top two spots of the Metropolitan Division. Seacoast United Phantoms are first in the Northeast Division, but second place could require the points per game tiebreaker. Boston City FC has the second most points, but they have played more games than the third place Western Mass Pioneers. The Pioneers would earn the second playoff spot in the division by averaging 2.25 points per game to Boston City’s 2.1. However, BCFC would be the best ranked third place team and would earn the other wild card spot.